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The Naked Kiss
BLU-RAY disk
Jan 18, 2011 By: Mathew Plale
The Naked Kiss order
Director:
Samuel Fuller

Actors:
Constance Towers
Anthony Eisley
Michael Dante

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A former prostitute (Towers) tries to make a new life for herself in a small town, but finds she cannot escape sinfulness or corruption.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Before we could even know what the name of the film is, a madwoman is walloping a man whos done wrong with her purse, almost in sync with the hip jazz score accompanying the beating. Im through, Kelly! the pimp pleads.

This is The Naked Kiss, and she is Kelly, played by a dynamite Constance Towers. A former prostitute, she comes to a small town to make a new life for herself, taking a position as a candy striper in a childrens hospital. Her desired transformation is spelled out in a story Kelly tells the sick children in her care, about a swan who turns into a boy because he can pretend. Yes, pretend

No character in a Samuel Fuller film is permitted to escape their past: not the lead, not the supporting characters, not even the racist canine in 1983s White Dog. Her first week in town finds Kelly turning another trick with a police captain (Anthony Eisley). Hope for Kellys escape, however, does pop up sporadically in the story, as when Kelly becomes engaged to the wealthy Grant (Michael Dante), whose surname lends itself to the town. But no one seems uncorrupted in the world of Samuel Fuller.

With this unrelenting treatment of his characters, a lively (albeit jerky) narrative style and heavy-handed dialog ripped straight from B-level pulp novels, The Naked Kiss is pure Fuller. Take it or leave it. Tolerate it or dont.
THE EXTRAS
Constance Towers (28:48): In this 2007 interview conducted by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis, the star of The Naked Kiss reminisces about working on the film. Some of the topics Towers touches on are working with Sam Fuller, playing the character of Kelly (and not shaving her head for the role) and much more. A very thorough exploration of the film.

The South Bank Show: Sam Fuller (31:05): Originally airing in 1983, this segment serves as an overview of the director. Always lively (and with a cigar), Fuller offers an informative and fast-paced look into his life and career.

Cinastes de notre temps (23:31): This 1967 episode of the French television series is another excellent look into the mind of Fuller, who (again) dishes out notes on his life and career. Some of the specific subjects at hand are: journalism, war, women, racism, and violence, all themes throughout the directors career.

Cinma cinmas (12:50): This segment from the French television series, originally aired in 1987, offers another interview with Fuller. This time, Fuller uses photographs as an aid to his storytelling.

Theatrical trailer

Also included with this Criterion Collection Blu-ray is a 24-page booklet with an essay titled Fractured Fairy Tales by critic and poet Robert Polito and excerpts from Fullers autobiography.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This Blu-ray release is a significant upgrade from The Criterion Collection's barebones DVD from 1998. Obviously, the video and audio are in better condition, but the real draw here comes in the interviews with star Towers and director Fuller, whose insight makes up for the lack of commentary track. This is an essential double dip for owners of the original disc.
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