Friday, October 26, 2012
Naked Kiss & Kansas City Confidential Another Film Noir Double Header
Kansas City Confidential
Outstanding black & white 1952 film noir about a million dollar bank robbery and it's aftermath. John Payne doing his best Robert Mitchum, stars as a fall guy who gets sore at being framed and sets out to find the real robbers. Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef & Jack Elam play the real stickup men. Preston Foster is a retired police detective and the gorgeous Coleen Gray is her daughter and love interest for Payne.
It's a great little film that moves quickly and looks great. The plot takes many twists and turns which keeps me from revealing too much of the plot. But it delivers a solid ninety minutes entertainment.
Sam Fuller tells us a heart warming story of how a young woman is able to weather adversity and transform herself. It is also a nasty little film noir / soap opera from 1963. In the opening sequence we meet Kelly a bald headed hooker who knocks a man out and takes $75 from him.
Fast forward two years and run into Kelly again as she arrives at the bus station of a small town. She quickly meets Griff local captain of police and the film obligatory cynical veteran. We learn that Kelly is now operating as a traveling “champagne” saleswoman”. Griff samples some of Kelly's wares and later as they are getting dressed he tells her that he runs a nice town and if she wants to set up shop she needs to go to the town on the other side of the river.
Flash forward again a couple of years and Kelly is still in town but is now works in a hospital with cripple kids. She has made herself in to a new person. Or has she? From this point on the story goes off the rails as Kelly's past catches up with her. Just as she finds true love with the town's richest man.
“Nothing but the buck, the bed and the bottle for the rest of my life.”
Just one example of the prose being dispensed by the hard bitten characters that populate this cinematic masterpiece. Oh there are a few slow spots but they are more than made up for by the high points. Like the line above, the opening scene, and when Kelly has been arrested there is a scene where she chats from her cell window with a group of kids playing in the alley behind the jail.
It's a wonderful film well worth taking the time to watch. We have posted Naked Kiss on our MindsiMedia YouTube station as part of our midnight movies collection. Near the end of each “part” of this movie there is a link at the bottom of the screen to take you to the next part.