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Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

Posted by martinteller on November 24, 2010

We have a winner for the best title of Noir-vember. Burt Lancaster is a Canadian ex-GI who accidentally kills a man in a British pub fight. He seeks refuge in a woman’s house and the two fall in love, but a shady witness threatens to unravel everything. The film looks wonderful, with all those foggy London streets brought to life in rich chiaroscuro lighting. Lancaster is appropriately intense and his character says a lot about the postwar mindset. The main problem here is Joan Fontaine, whose character is too tough to pin down. She seems to go whichever way the plot demands. As a result, the chemistry between her and Lancaster never rings true, which ultimately robs the film of the lyrical sensibility it’s striving for. Nonetheless, it’s a beautifully stylized film with a moody tone. Rating: 7


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