Kelly, a prostitute, traumatised by an experience, referred to as 'The Naked Kiss,' by psychiatrists, leaves her past, and finds solace in the town of Grantville. She meets Griff, the police captain of the town, with whom she spends a romantic afternoon. Kelly finds a job as a nurse in a hospital for handicapped children. The work helps her find her sensitive side in the caring and helping of her young patients. Kelly's path towards happiness is thrown amiss, when she witnesses a shocking event, which threatens not just her happiness, but her mental health as well.Written by
You won't be bored, and you might be amazed. Great low-budget stuff.
The Naked Kiss (1964)
Constance Towers is fresh off of Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor the previous year, and she is perfectly adroit at the saint/sinner, prostitute/angel dichotomy at the core of it. This is a crazy movie to take seriously, yet there are so many serious parts to it, not the least of which is child molesting. For a 1964 movie that's daring stuff. Throw in a corrupt lovable cop, sweet children with physical disabilities, tinkly fairy tale music that comes out of nowhere when she is looking at a bedroom to stay in, and some good old female fist fights. Out comes a Fuller masterwork, of sort.
It's flawed enough to make some people run, but edgy enough to glue others to their seats. If the movie industry was looking for ways to break out of the doldrums of the late 1950s and early 1960s (there are some terrible high budget films from these years), it overlooked the breakthroughs coming from the fringes. The directness and everyday nasty material here would be the bedrock of movies in just two or three years, as violence, frank sexual content, and flawed people became the norm.
You may as well admit, too, that the best parts of this movie are terrific, including some hard edged, sharp, black and white photography. The Criterion DVD is as close to great as you can get, even though there is some confusion about the way even this famed company handled the release. The movie was actually shot in 4:3 format, in so called "flat" 35mm shooting (no anamorphic lens used). It was then cropped along the top and bottom to create a wide screen format for theatrical release. The "fullscreen" version is formatted full (and I don't know if any of the fullscreen ones show the whole original "open matte" formatting, or are further cropped from the widescreen cropping). Either way, it was intended to be seen with wide screen composition, so get the Criterion. It's beautiful.
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