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: Kiss of Death (1947)  ( 6412 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #15 : December 22, 2020, 12:00:40 AM »

Muller's outro mentions the item I cited from wikipedia above, about the deleted scene. (The wikipedia entry cites to the book Women In Horror Films, 1940s," by Gregory William Mank https://www.amazon.com/Women-Horror-Films-Gregory-William/dp/0786423358) Only difference is that Muller says he is unsure if the scene was deleted because Zanuck wanted it out or because of the censors. The wikipedia entry says it was the censors.


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« #16 : December 22, 2020, 12:25:25 AM »




Do you think that only the voiceover explaining that he died was glued on afterward? Or was the entire narration glued on afterward?

I don't recall the narration filling in any plot gaps ? in other words, the movie could work totally fine without any narration. What the narration accomplishes is making Nick sympathetic/likeable, like explaining that he was doing the holdup because he had two young kids and was broke, etc.

It would be interesting to find out at what point in the movie the narration was tacked on.

Interestingly, the narration mentions that Nick's father was killed by a cop ? but I don't believe it is mentioned again anywhere else in the movie. You'd think that point about his father would have been mentioned again somewhere in the movie besides just once in the narration. For example, in the first scene where Nick is on the DA's office, and the DA is trying to get him to squeal, and the DA is bashing Nick for not squealing because he has the hoodlum blood in him or whatever, and they are talking about Nick's rap sheet at a career criminal, etc. At some point it would have been mentioned about Nick's childhood, how his dad was a crook killed by a cop. But I don't believe a word is ever mentioned about his father in the movie, aside from the narration.

So this does lead me to believe that the narration may well have all been tacked on afterward. Because it doesn't fill any narrative gaps, and just serves to make Nick more sympathetic. Once we're trying to make him sympathetic, what can do that better than saying his father was killed by a cop, implying that he had no choice but to lead a life of crime,

With that being said, I don't think the narration hurts the movie. I think it perhaps even helps (with the exception, of course, of the phony happy ending that was obviously tacked on afterward, as we discussed). Colleen Gray does a good job with it; of all noir narration, off the top of my head this is the only one that I can recall being done by a woman; also, she is neither omniscient nor the main character, but a supporting player. Any other noir narration like that?

And yes, the more sympathetic, Nick is a piece of shit hoodlum whom I'd ordinarily feel no sympathy for, and the more sympathetic and likeable he is, the better the movie is, you can root for him against not only the bad guy Tommy Udo but also against the dirty tricks of the DA.

Bottom line: While I believe the narration may all have been tacked on afterward, with the exception of the final scene, I don't think it hurts the movie at all, and perhaps helps.

Here's an interesting thought: Perhaps once they had to make Nick survive, that's why they had to add the closing narration (or re-shoot the last scene) and only then decided to put in the entire narration throughout.

It would be interesting to have a fan edit of this movie, deleting all the narration, and (aside from the ending being better), seeing how differently then movie plays. Nick will obviously be less likeable.

Anyway, upping my rating of this movie to an 8/10  :)


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