KISS OF DEATH (1947) B/W 98m dir: Henry Hathaway
w/Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Richard Widmark, Mildred Dunnock, Coleen Gray, Karl Malden
Widmark made his remarkable debut as a giggling killer in this little film noir gem, and he's mesmerizing as he pushes crippled Dunnock down a flight of stairs so she won't squeal. But Mature, as a hood who can't go straight, and Gray, as his girlfriend, match him all the way. It's Mature's best leading performance.
From Variety 's review of the film: "Kiss of Death [based on a story by Eleazar Lipsky, with screenplay by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer] is given the same semi-documentary treatment that 20th-Fox used in its three fact dramas The House on 92nd Street , 13 Rue Madeleine and Boomerang!
"Theme is of an ex-convict [Mature] who sacrifices himself to gangster guns to save his wife and two small daughters. Henry Hathaway's real-life slant on direction brings the picture close to authentic tragedy."