December 26th, 2012: Kiss of Death (1947)

Kiss of Death

Cast and Crew:   Henry Hathaway (Director); Ben Hecht (Screenplay); Coleen Gray, Brian Donlevy, Karl Malden

What It’s About: Small-time crook Nick Bianco (Victor Mature) is arrested during a jewelry heist.  He refuses to rat out his partners-until his wife kills herself, leaving his children in an orphanage.  Bianco faces a choice:  rat out his partners….or abandon his children, and when the hood in question is psychopath Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark), things could get very dangerous, indeed.

Why Watch it Today?: Richard Widmark was born on this date in 1914.  Widmark got his start in radio, but became a film star with his role in today’s movie, playing a chilling, giggling psycho who is often linked with The Joker.

Other Choices:  We’ve previously featured Night and the City and Murder on the Orient Express, both of which feature Widmark playing unsavory characters.

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