Kiss of Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kiss of Death Reviews

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January 16, 2016
A man forced into crime does some time only to finally give in and turn in his accomplices. He then only wants to get a normal life, but is forced to confront his past. It was weak at points, but there was one point that captured me when he was directly confronted by a maniac criminal. You could feel his despair in the scene like you too had been backed into a corner with no where to go. It must have also been a controversial film painting criminals in a good light.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2016
Henry Hathaway's classic film noir is powerful and intensely captivating. It tells the tale of a small-time hoodlum, Nick Bianco, played marvelously by Victor Mature in the best lead performance of his career. He is convicted of a jewel heist and sent to prison, then after serving three years because he was double crossed by his shyster lawyer, he then learns that his wife has comitted suicide, and that his children have been sent away to an orphanage, so he then makes a deal with the assistant district attorney played superbly by Brian Donlevy, and is paroled, but it's not going to be easy for Nick, he must testify against a giggling sadistic killer named Tommy Udo, that works for the mob, played with great menace by Richard Widmark, who makes his remarkable Oscar nominated screen debut as the psychotic Udo. This film made a star out of Widmark and he completely dominates it. There is a infamous, shocking scene where Udo pushes a helpless crippled old lady in wheelchair down a flight of stairs to her death, so she won't squeal! Beautiful black & white cinematography by Norbert Brodine. A gripping exciting crime drama. Highly Recommended.
July 15, 2015
One of the best film noir pics ever. background music perfect for film. widmark should have won the Oscar. mature's best work. cinemaphotography is excellent. this film labled widmark as a heavy, a real bad guy; but, you had to love his performance as udo. in retrospect, i couldn't imagine anyone else playing the part. the scene where udo pushes the wheel chair bound lady down the steps is a classic-enhanced by his laugh and the use of the term "squid". every time i watch this film, and udo calls nick "a big man" the voice, the facial expressions, blow me away. in this film there was real acting, unlike many of the works coming out of Hollywood these days. overall, i rank this film after casablanca, the big sleep, to have and have not, key largo (how about that edward g. robinson performance). i'm sure there will be many, many folks who disagree. it's only my opinion.
½ February 24, 2015
Film noir gone awry. There are a lot better movies that actually capture the style this one tried to.
January 20, 2015
Lo mejor el villano por excelencia antes que Hannibal Lecter, el gran Richard Widmark, de antolog├Ča su actuaci├▓n.
½ March 31, 2014
Another noir that suffers from a weak leading man.
March 22, 2014
one of the most awesome and creepy film noir
November 10, 2013
I'm the type of guy you can't hurt.

A gangster turned family man is caught up in a crime and offered the chance to sing on his organizer to remain free so he can take care of his family. He decides not to sing and goes to jail. While in jail, he discovers his wife could not handle his actions and his daughters have been given up to an orphanage. He decides to testify against his former crime bosses but the district attorney losses the case. The man remains free to take care of his daughters, but the mob is now after him and his family.

"I'm the same guy as I was back then. Nothing has changed. Nothing."

Henry Hathaway, director of True Grit, How the West was Won, Niagara, The Sons of Katie Elder, Shoot Out, The Black Rose, and Rawhide, delivers Kiss of Death. The storyline for this picture is awesome and unpredictable. The action scenes and dialogue are excellent and the cast delivers wonderful performances. The cast includes Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark, and Karl Malden.

"Imagine a guy like me getting picked up for just cutting the ears off a guy's head."

I DVR'd this picture after reading the synopsis while flicking through the channels. The plot sounded interested and I can tell you that it definitely is. I loved the evolution of the main character and this definitely ended up being way better than I anticipated. I strongly recommend seeing this gem.

"Your side of the fence is almost as dirty as mine."

Grade: A
October 1, 2013
Mature and Widmark are both stellar. The story is both tense and heartwarming. Very good watch.
½ June 23, 2013
Richard Widmark is great.
April 18, 2013
Richard Widmark rules in this film.
April 6, 2013
Victor Mature takes time out from his roles in Gladiator movies to play the lead in this crime drama (some would say film noir but I'm not so sure about that) about soft hearted crim Nick Bianco who turns stool pigeon to protect his family. The impossibly sympathetic DA does all he can for Bianco; I'm surprised he didn't send him bunch of flowers! The pacing is slow and the whole thing is weighed down by a leaden script and uninspired direction. The best thing about the picture is Richard Widmark's brilliant Oscar nominated performance as a grinning, giggling psychotic thug (watch for a scene with a lady in a wheelchair at the top of the stairs...) You get the feeling that Widmark is bringing his own great ideas to the character because the director doesn't seem to get similar performances out of Mature or anyone else. The DVD transfer on my $5 bargain copy was nice and clean but the audio was awful. I was surprised to see this get an 86%rating from critics here and 74% audience rating. It makes me wonder whether I've been too harsh or missed something but for me there are so many better films of this type.
½ December 16, 2012
Richard Widmark's performance as Tommy Udo raises this noir from slightly better than average to compelling viewing.
October 6, 2012
Although slow at the beginning, Kiss of Death fast-paced thrilling experience in the second and third acts makes up for it. It's a rather comfortless story of a small-time crook named Nick Bianco, who one day decides to squeal on his former associates in order to get out of jail and live a peaceful life with his family. However, one of those guys from joint, also involved in some criminal activity, gets out without a sentence and starts to mess with Bianco's mind, promising forthcoming revenge. It's a riveting tale of second chances, making up for the old times, and sacrificing one's own good for the sake of the dearly beloved. Perfectly thrilling, intense, and moody, Kiss of Death proves to have the guts to be both a refreshing moralizing tale and a somber noir film. One of Victor Mature's best performances ever.
½ May 6, 2012
A Tale Of Two Crooks - One With A Heart, One Without One--Great noir!!
March 21, 2012
This is a decent crime drama, but Richard Widmark as a psychopathic enforcer makes it worth the effort.
March 1, 2012
Competent crime noir, with stand out performance from Widmark.
½ December 15, 2011
I'm sure the first comment of anyone who has watched this movie is some recognition of Richard Widmark's benchmark portrayal of the psychotic villain. And while It is certainly the most memorable thing about this neatly produced and functional noir film, Mature's performance is the true spine of this film. His torn protagonist rolls through the plot in such an understated way that it defies the year of this films production. The film is crisply directed, but I feel sure that some of the kick of the story has since been diluted by a score of similar and progressively intricate cinema storylines.
September 3, 2011
Widmark Giggles His Way Through a Crime Thriller Classic!
½ August 18, 2011
Great noir, with a mix of almost every genre. Victor Mature plays a gangster, Nick Bianco. During one of his many heists, he's caught, and goes to jail. There he meets Tommy Udo (Widmark) a psychopathic killer who wants to make a deal with Nick,. Soon after a parole, Nick makes a deal with the police that he'll go clean and give them any information about the members of his gang. He then goes back to his wife, played by Coleen Gray, and his two children. They live an OK life, but is always interrupted by the police. Soon, Nick's worries creep up when he worries that revenge bent Tommy will hurt him and his family. "Kiss of Death" is usually associated with the underrated Richard Widmarks breakthrough role, if not his best. You can see why, his snarling, mean criminal is played to absolute perfection, and he most definitely deserves his Oscar nomination. Don't be surprised with FOX's next move-- he plays a similar role in another great noir ''The Street with No Name". This movie is done very very well, and every role was picked out perfectly, and even the usually decent Victor Mature is better than usual. "Kiss of Death" is a classic film noir and should be rated just as highly as the Gene Tierney classic "Laura".
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