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Kiss The Blood Off My Hands

“Notwithstanding its gruesome title, Kiss The Blood Off My Hands is not a lurid crime picture. It is, rather, a thoughtful, sombre drama of an ill-starred couple and their plaintive struggle for happiness. It is a conventional drama, but a surprisingly interesting one that builds steadily toward a third-act climax....

“Leonardo Bercovici has written an orderly screen play, though his central character is not sharply defined. Bill Saunders, a former soldier who developed a violent aversion to taking orders after spending two years in a Nazi prison camp, appears to be more of a born misfit than a man warped by circumstances. Quick-tempered and pugnacious, he accidently kills a man. In a frantic effort to elude the police he breaks into the apartment of Jane Wharton, wins her sympathy and convinces her of his innocence. This is put to a strong test when he gets into subsequent trouble and is sentenced to six months in jail, but by now love has conquered reason.

“Were it not for the restraint and intelligence that Joan Fontaine brings to the role of Jane Wharton the drama no doubt would come apart at the seams. For one cares more about what is likely to happen to Jane Wharton as she undertakes the reformation of Saunders in a fruitless bid for happiness and perforce of circumstance, entirely believable in this instance, becomes involved in murder herself. Saving this tragic development until the film's final moments, the story reaches a forceful climax, for it leaves to one's imagination the future of this unfortunate couple as they prepare to make an accounting to society.

“Norman Foster has directed Kiss The Blood Off My Hands with keen appreciation for the story's emotional content and he has handled the scenes of violence with striking sharpness. The long chase that starts the film on its way, with Lancaster desperately racing through winding streets and alleyways of the London waterfront, vaulting fences and scrambling up on roofs, is high-tension excitement.”

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