HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye He corrupts everything he touches
Year: 1950
Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Payton, Helena Carter, Ward Bond, Luther Adler, Barton MacLane, Steve Brodie, Rhys Williams, Herbert Heyes, John Litel, William Frawley, Neville Brand
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Seven people stand trial for murder and other offences, denounced by the District Attorney as “evil” and “at war with all normal, decent people.” Yet the most reprehensible one of the group was the murder victim, Ralph Cotter (James Cagney), whose story we learn in flashback as each defendant takes the stand. Busted out of jail by Holiday Caldwell (Barbara Payton) and Joe “Jinx” Raynor (Steve Brodie), Cotter is so ruthless he shoots his fellow escapee (Neville Brand, later the scythe-wielding loon in Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive (1976)) for slowing him down. He swiftly makes a move on Holiday who, clueless as to how her brother really died, latches onto Cotter out of poverty-driven desperation.

Cotter stages a series of violent heists and when corrupt cops Inspector Walker (Ward Bond) and Lieutenant Reece (Barton MacLane) try to shake him down for a piece of the action, he turns the tables and blackmails them into becoming accomplices, aided by shifty lawyer “Cherokee” Mandon (Luther Adler). Complications arise when the ambitious Cotter starts romancing Margaret Dobson (Helena Carter), daughter of powerful tycoon Ezra Dobson (Herbert Heyes), on the side and learns the hard way that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

A film so relentlessly vicious and cynical for its time, it was banned in a handful of US states as “a sordid, sadistic presentation of brutality.” Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye was seen by some as Warner Bros.’ and star James Cagney’s attempt to top his explosive performance in the incredible White Heat (1949). As Cody Jarrett, Cagney essayed arguably the most psychotically unhinged gangster in screen history, a classic movie monster able to chew up the characters played by Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Scarface (1983) and Goodfellas (1990) like meek, little mice. Ralph Cotter kicks a cripple, towel-slaps Holiday till she’s a sobbing wreck, guns down anyone who gets in his way and goes bonkers whenever someone suggests he is crazy, yet is nonetheless a more conniving brute than Jarrett, capable of intelligence and wit. More than a career criminal, he is also a social climber who latches onto the fabulously wealthy Dobson clan to cloak himself in semi-respectability and influence.

What the film lacks is a certain cinematic charge to match the fireworks inherent in James Cagney’s performance. Anonymous hand Gordon Douglas does not pack the wallop past collaborators Raoul Walsh and William Wellman brought to their Cagney classics. The finale in particular, though it metes out a fitting end for Cotter, fizzles out amidst the courtroom when it should pierce our souls. And though Barbara Payton yokes sympathy for poor Holiday (a law-abiding woman until Cotter worms his way into her life), the script has little patience and essentially concludes that if you dance with the devil, you’ll get burned. A symptom of the heavy-handed moralizing of the era, as is the D.A.’s self-righteous speech.

In many ways this was the last of the old-style, fast-moving, headline-grabbing Warner Bros. crime thrillers a la The Public Enemy (1931), before the genre splintered into socially conscious crime movies, crime-themed art-house pics and a wave of gangster biopics. It’s cynical depiction of corruption rampant among cops, lawyers and other authority figures suits our jaded modern sensibilities, although it lacks the humanity of Cagney classics like The Roaring Twenties (1939). Less a man, more a force of nature, Cotter is a tornado that sucks people up and spits them out. Although Cagney delivers the star turn, the film is well-cast including Ward Bond as the dirty cop and Luther Adler as the vaguely self-loathing lawyer. Lookout for The Thing from Another World (1951) star Kenneth Tobey as one of the crime-busting cops. Especially interesting are the contrasted women in Cotter’s life: Helena Carter as the thrill-seeking rich girl drawn to fast cars and dangerous men and Payton as the good girl corrupted into a gangster’s moll against her better judgment.

“You’re trying to get me deeper and deeper, aren’t you?” she remarks, sadly to Cotter.
“Sweetheart, right now you’re in over your head”, he sneers in reply.

Not to be confused with the other Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (2000), an unrelated crime thriller directed by and starring Jason Priestley.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3442 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: