Kiss The Blood Off My Hands

I’m trying something different with this venerable feature. Pulp Fiction Thursday became a thing on my eponymous blog. I’ve always included that rubric in the post title but this week I’m experimenting with a memed picture a la the Friday Cocktail Hour. We’ll see if it works. If it doesn’t, the drinks are on me.

Enough with the preliminaries, let’s get on with it.

March and April are the cruelest months for Noir Alley fans. Eddie Muller is on hiatus, which means no snappy patter and cocktail chatter until May. I am desolate.

Instead of giving into despair, I’ve decided to write about a movie recently featured by the Noir Czar: Kiss The Blood Off My Hands.

I’d heard about this 1948 movie for years but hadn’t seen it before. It lives up to its lurid and pulpy title.

The premise is simple yet still elegant. Burt Lancaster plays an American GI who spent time in a German POW camp. It left our boy Burt traumatized. The term PTSD wasn’t coined until 1980 but that’s what was wrong with Burt.

He finds himself in London where he has chance meetings with Joan Fontaine and my favorite movie villain Robert Newton, which leads to crime and eventually to murder. The rule of the two best-looking people in a movie kicks in and Burt and Joan fall in love after the most noirish meet cute in film history.

The novel by Gerald Butler was set in pre-war Britain but the film adaptation is set after the blitz and the war. Wise choice.

Here’s the book cover:

Kiss The Blood Off My Hands is a psychological thriller with outbursts of violence. The protagonists are good people who have the misfortune to fall in with Bobbie Newton who gives a typically sinister performance.

One more notable thing about this week’s film noir: It was Burt Lancaster’s first go as a producer along with his partner Harold Hecht. It’s a rousing success.

Grading Time: I give Kiss The Blood Off My Hands 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+ It could go higher with repeated viewings.

Let’s get arty but not farty with the quad poster:

Let’s all go to the lobby:

Let’s skip the concession stand and check out some color lobby cards produced for this black and white movie.

This first one is something of a spoiler but good things never happen to Robert Newton:

This one is on the racy side for 1948:

Now that we’ve hung out in the boudoir with Joan and Burt, here’s a rather blurry digital transfer of the trailer:

Eddie Muller gets the last word with his intro and outro for Kiss The Blood Off My Hands:


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