Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Naked Kiss [1964]

Directed by Hollywood’s enfant terrible Samuel Fuller, The Naked Kiss was a heady concoction of noirish sensibilities, tabloid storytelling, psychological drama, social commentary and melodramatic kitsch – the movie is hence sure to create ambivalent reactions among most viewers. It starts off in spectacular fashion. The electrifying opening sequence shows a hooker, Kelly (played with delicacy and charm by Constance Towers) clobbering her pimp with a stiletto; most of the scene is shown through the pimp’s eyes, so it feels as if her fury and aggression are directed at the viewers! She escapes from her sordid life to a small, ‘clean’ town in order to start her life afresh. She has a lurid encounter there with the local sheriff. Eventually she does manage to make a decent living, and even falls in love with the town’s most eligible bachelor. However, she’s unaware of the grotesque blemish that he harbours, and consequently it’s not long before the details of her scandalous past travel all the way there to derail her best-laid plans to leave all her baggage behind. By the time the movie ends, you wouldn’t know whether you’ve been served something special or the director has blatantly manipulated you, but you’ll like the movie nonetheless – I guess that’s Sam Fuller for you.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Crime Drama/Neo-Noir
Language: English
Country: US


Jon said...

This is on a short list of films I need to see. I'm a huge Fuller fan and haven't seen this one yet. I love his stuff from Fixed Bayonets to Crimson Kimono etc. This would be right up my alley. Thanks for reminding me. I need to get it on my queue.

Shubhajit said...

Ha ha, well, I guess I lie on the other side of the spectrum, cos as of now this is the only Fuller film I've seen. Therefore, I need to get a number of his films on my queue :)

Jon said...

Oh cool then you have some things to look forward to. Fixed Bayonets and Steel Helmet are really good gritty low budget war films containing more moments of truth than they have a right to. Pickup on South St. and Crimson Kimono are great film noirs. He's an interesting director.

Alex DeLarge said...

WHITE DOG is my favorite Fuller film but I also love BIG RED ONE and PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. You can't miss!

Jon said...

Alex yes White Dog is brilliant. I forgot about that one. How could I!

Shubhajit said...

@Johny & Alex:

Thanks a lot for providing suggestions as regards to Sam Fuller's films. I'll make sure to watch the movies you mentioned, viz. Fixed Bayonets, Pickup of the South Street, White Dog, etc. before trying his other movies.

From what I've gathered Fuller is the kind of director you either love or hate, and gauging by your responses, I can very well understand on which side of the fence you two are :)

Thanks again.