6.8/10
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Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 October 1948 (USA)
Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.

Director:

Norman Foster

Writers:

Leonardo Bercovici (screenplay), Ben Maddow (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Fontaine ... Jane Wharton
Burt Lancaster ... William Earle 'Bill' Saunders
Robert Newton ... Harry Carter
Lewis L. Russell Lewis L. Russell ... Tom Widgery
Aminta Dyne Aminta Dyne ... Landlady
Grizelda Hervey ... Mrs. Paton
Jay Novello ... Sea Captain of Pelicano
Colin Keith-Johnston ... Judge
Reginald Sheffield ... Superintendent
Campbell Copelin Campbell Copelin ... Publican
Leyland Hodgson ... Tipster (as Leland Hodgson)
Peter Hobbes Peter Hobbes ... Young Father
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Storyline

Bill Saunders, disturbed ex-soldier, kills a man in a postwar London pub brawl. Fleeing, he hides out in the apartment of lonely nurse Jane Wharton. Later, despite misgivings about his violent nature, Jane becomes involved with Bill, who resolves to reform. She gets him a job driving a medical supplies truck. But racketeer Harry Carter, who witnessed the killing, wants to use Bill's talents for crime. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only Her Arms Could Tame the Fury of His Fists! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unafraid See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Norma Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lancaster wanted to retain the novel's title in order to capitalize on its success. Universal and the MPAA had problems with it, so the studio tested "Blood on My Hands" and "Blood on the Moon." It eventually premiered under the more innocuous "The Unafraid" but eventually reverted back to the book's original title. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in England, where automobiles and trucks are right-hand drive; but the truck Bill drives is left-hand drive. See more »

Quotes

Judge: [to Bill Saunders] ... furthermore, although these appear to be first offenses, in view of the brutal nature of the assault, I have no alternative but to direct that you receive eighteen lashes of the cat-o'-nine-tails.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't quite live up to its lurid title...good performance by Fontaine...
29 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

What should have been a much more effective film with an absorbing, sometimes gripping story, is somehow turned into a tepid melodrama interesting only for the performances of the principal players--Burt Lancaster, Joan Fontaine and Robert Newton.

Basically, the story has hot tempered Lancaster running from the law and seeking shelter in Fontaine's apartment. Against her better judgment, she becomes involved with him but can't protect him from a blackmailer (Robert Newton) who has witnessed Lancaster's crime. Joan Fontaine gives a surprisingly strong performance in a confrontation scene with Newton that is the most gripping moment of the film. To tell any more would be to give the rest of the plot away.

As intense as Lancaster is, it's not a very well written role--there is definitely something lacking in the screenplay. Nor is the chemistry between him and Fontaine very strong or believable. She gives one of her better performances as the woman who just happens to cross paths with a killer.

The low key lighting gives the film a grim, film noir look that is appropriate for this kind of story, as does Miklos Rozsa's score although it does not rank with some of his best work. At best, it's a routine melodrama that could have been so much more.


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