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Kiss Of Death

             In August 27, 1947, Twentieth Century-Fox released the critically acclaimed, Kiss of Death. It is a genuine thriller, and it holds one in suspense almost every foot of the film, right from the start" (Harrison's Report ). A gangster film that actually takes place on the streets, away from fake glossy sets and unnatural lighting. A grim story charged with increasing tension until the very end. A tale that deals with the obscure world of criminals and policemen of a big city. That deals with the darkest hallways of the human mind. How is it that a movie said to be " not for the squeamish, for some the action is brutal and cruel." (Harrison's Report) get to be so positively reviewed by the critics? Are people looking for a more realistic type of movie? Did World War II have anything to do with this new type of movie?.
             In general, according to all reviews of the time, the most impressive aspect about Kiss of Death was its realism. "It illustrates a new and vigorous trend in U.S. moviemaking. One of the best things that is happening in Hollywood is the tendency to move out of the place -to base fictional pictures on fact, and more importantly, to shoot them not in painted studio sets but in actual places." (Fisk). In this period in time, Hollywood was used to film most of their movies in indoor-sets because it was easier than taking the whole cast and crew out to the actual locations. By making their own sets they are able to obtain whatever mood they wanted for their movies, but couldn't really show true reality. But Kiss of Death was a very different movie in that respect. The movie would be filmed entirely on actual surroundings in New York giving it a very powerful realist felling. "Its atmosphere is therefore authentic, and it is surprising how much authority this background contributes to the over-all effect of the picture" (The New York Times Film Review). Places like Manhattan's Tombs prison, the Chrysler Building, Sing Sing prison, an orphanage and the streets and surroundings of New York were used to give the movie more of a genuine atmosphere, a much truer felling.

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