Kiss of Death (1947)

Henry Hathaway directs Victor Mature, Coleen Gray and Richard Widmark in this noir where an imprisoned heist man turns informant when his wife sticks her head in the oven and his angelic kids are sent to the orphanage.

Victor Mature is a big clunky screen presence, he looks like a hand drawn caricature of Dean Martin or Robert Mitchum. He’s terrorised by Richard Widmark’s giggling killer. The Joker in all but face paint; he pushes old ladies down flights of stairs and blathers nonsense to anyone who listens. Coleen Gray is beautiful as the shimmering ray of hope who swoops in to turn Mature good when his wife offs herself. Domestic opportunists never looked so pretty and wholesome.


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