The Naked Kiss (1964): Pulp Noir

The Naked Kiss (1964): Pulp Noir

discomfited staggering between camp, noir, and grotesque melodrama, might be more a result of studio tampering than Fuller’s misdirection. It is also difficult to discern just what sort of censorship the studios achieved, for whatever they did was austerely permeated by social taboos the likes of abortion, prostitution, child molestation, and murder.

IMBD Comment from jeanpesce

Samuel Fuller, writer, director, and producer of The Naked Kiss, apparently disclaimed this film after alleged re-editing ordered by studio bosses before its release.

I found the film largely emotionally distant, but the story of a prostitute who tries to remake her life in the face of social prejudice and male misogyny is perversely involving. A noir sensibility pervades, but it is not really a film noir as the anti-hero is a woman who is punished for being good: though her violent actions may be justified in a closed sense, they are not necessarily the only reasonable responses.

The best scene is when the text of a newspaper headline is flashed across the screen: it is a veritable punch to the stomach.

Fuller was a pulp director who tried to understand women and support their empowerment, unlike directors like Quentin Tarantino, who seek to debase the feminine.

Something different.

2 thoughts on “The Naked Kiss (1964): Pulp Noir”

  1. Fuller was a master!

    I particularly like the song the “heroine” sings with the children. “li One of the most disturbing scenes of film I can think of. “Mommy dear, tell me please…”


  2. Yes Jim, that scene is very powerful, and the playing of the tape of the concert when Kelly enters Grant’s house for the last time, underscores the enormity of what she discovers.

    Powerful too is the scene where Kelly tells a story to the kids, with the fantasy sequence where both she and the kids are freed from the shackles that hold them back in real life. Indeed, the film has many powerful metaphors, and needs to be seen more than once to appreciate these nuances.

    Tks for bringing this up.


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