Entertainment Weekly - 09/18/1998
"...All tabloid sensibility..." -- Rating: B+
USA Today - 01/11/1991
"...This is a glorified 'B' directed with style and punch..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2004
"[I]t offers a searing indictment of small-town hypocrisy."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Small-time prostitute Kelly arrives in the town of Grantville, and after turning one final trick with police detective Griff, she decides to turn her life around. After finding redemption working in a pediatric hospital, Kelly meets and is courted by philanthropist John Grant. Although she reveals her torrid past, Grant loves her and proposes marriage. But on a unexpected visit to her fiancée, she makes a shocking and horrifying discovery that will send her to death row.
A decorated war hero, director Samuel Fuller dealt with such highly controversial themes as prostitution and pedophilia in The Naked Kiss and racism in White Dog (1981). Among his best works is the film-noir classic Pickup On South Street (1953) and his war epics, Steel Helmet (1951) and The Big Red One (1980), which was based on his own experiences. Philadelphia native Anthony Eisley was best known for his starring role in TV's "Hawaiian Eye" (1959-1963). Replaced after three seasons, he went on to cult shlock hero status, appearing in such films as The Navy Vs The Night Monsters (1966), The Mighty Gorga (1969), Dracula Vs Frankenstein (1971) and Ted Mikels' The Doll Squad (1974). Julliard-trained Constance Towers, featured in the Blake Edward's 1955 musical, Bring Your Smile Along, went on to appear in John Ford's productions of The Horse Soldiers (1959) and Sergeant Rutledge (1960). In 1963, she starred in Samuel Fuller's Shock Corridor, one year before The Naked Kiss.
In director Samuel Fuller's pure pulp classic, Kelly, a former prostitute, hoping to escape her brutalizing big-city life by moving to a small town, discovers even more depravity in her new, supposedly sanitized environment. When she discovers a shocking murder scene, the townspeople are quick to make accusations based on her past.
Sam Fuller's full blown pulp melodrama is straight off the pages of dime-store crime magazines. His use of arty compositions and artificial dialogue prove once again that people only talk like this in his movies. This, his seventeenth film, takes place when all the women were dames and all the men were heels. Kelly, a former prostitute, is a woman of two worlds trying to find redemption in a world controlled by men. Relocated to Grantville, a suburb where everyone is artificially decent, she soon turns into Mother Teresa, quotes Goethe and teaches cripples to walk. The infiltration goes smoothly until she discovers a shocking murder scene and her cover begins to unravel. Fuller also manages to break traditional filmmaking manners by employing jump cuts, long inner monologues, and one of the most questionably placed and maudlin musical numbers ever filmed.
Cult Film |
Essential Cinema |
Film Noir |
Theatrical Release |
The Home Vision Cinema VHS version is digitally remastered and letterboxed at the original aspect ratio. The print is from the Janus collection.
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