Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Naked Kiss

Longtime readers may well remember that I am quite a fan of the work of Sam Fuller, and The Naked Kiss is one of my favourite Fuller movies. I got the Criterion Collection DVD of this film for Christmas, so I put it in the player and forced Wife to sit beside me and watch it.

She's not big on Fuller. It goes back to one time when I was watching Shock Corridor while she was sleeping beside me on the couch. The thing with Shock Corridor is that it goes from very quiet, non-speaking parts, to sudden screams of anguish, being as it's set in an asylum and all. Her being woken up by screaming loons is, I think, what has put her off the Sam. But I digress.

Like many of Fuller's movies, The Naked Kiss is heavy on melodrama. Sheesh, it's the tried-and-tested tale of a whore with a heart. Former call girl moves to new town to make a change and starts working at an orphanage/children's hospital. She falls in love with the town's chief benefactor, much to the chagrin of his best mate, a cop who she slept with on her first night in town. Melodrama. That's why we love Fuller's films, though. While he perhaps wasn't the best director of actors, he sure knew how to tell a story, how to show it on the screen, how to make you not want to watch anymore and yet, somehow, feel you have to.

This is what happened to Wife watching this film with me. And oh! the audible gasp from her lips with that big reveal. It was a joy to behold, let me tell you.

Sure, there's a lengthy sequence of children singing that may well test your patience. But it's so long and so over the top that it can only be Fuller pushing the boundaries. It's sweetly sick rather than sickly sweet, though.

This is rightly a classic that should be enjoyed and savoured. Warts and all.

The scores
Acting: 10
Story: 13
Direction: 13
Enjoyment: 16
Involvement: 16
Total: 68

Click here for my review of Fuller's Pickup on South Street, too.

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