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No consensus yet.
All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
It is ... something new and welcome in U.S. crime movies. None of its criminals is glamorous, nor does anyone piously point out that crime does not pay. Nobody has to. The whole picture amply demonstrates the fact.
The film is efficient enough, but it's a measure of Hathaway's limitations that it never once fulfills the paranoid delirium built into its subject.
But despite being a bit rough around the edges, Kiss of Death still satisfies.
What really sets this noir apart...is a combination of Hathaway's deliberate craftsmanship and the small crackerjack ensemble led by Mature and Widmark
If the production code didn't mandate the villain's defeat by the film's end, Udo would have walked away triumphant, tossing a butt at a flat-on-his-face Bianco.
...a solid, sporadically electrifying little thriller...
A jumbled piece of cinematic crime fiction that's visually elegant but regularly confused about its own point of view.
Hathaway's film noir is largely known for Richard Widmark's debut in an Oscar-nominated role of a giggling psycho who pushes old crippled ladies down the stairs.
Gritty film noir.
Vicious, still shocking crime drama
An all-star cast with a heart-felt story, but it could have done a better job at presenting the story or something, I just felt it could have been better in some way. Still, I think this is a good movie, and very worth seeing.
This is billed as a film noir, but it plays more as a crime drama. Victor Mature plays Nick Bianco, a robber who agrees to "snitch" on his cohorts in a heist in order to see his young daughters. It's a decent suspense film, but it is most memorable not for the main story but rather for the character of Johnny Udo, a giggling psycho played by Richard Widmark in his first role. What Johnny does to the old lady in the wheelchair is now the stuff of film legend. Widmark steals every scene he's in, which admittedly isn't hard since Victor Mature isn't much of an actor and I found Colleen Gray to be kind of a dull presense. But the film is still a damn sight better than a lot of others I could name.
Noir to the core. A spattering of memorable moments, not the least of which is the psychotic hit-man [Richard Widmark] sending an old woman flying down a flight of stairs in her wheelchair. (Ouch!)
Widmark is hysterically great and there's some nice cinematography and NY locations - unfortunately the pacing is glacial, the point of view is uncertain and Victor Mature...well he's really dull.
To be fair, this type of docu-noir probably packed a lot more kick in the years before TV took the judicial procedural as its meat and potatoes.
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