Women and Children First
Tom Without Pity | A Major Midwestern Metropolis | 06/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently viewed the Critereon edition of THE NAKED KISS (1964), director's Sam Fuller raw, brutal yet at the same time sentimental and charming expose of "one of the truths behind the American way of life" circa 1964.
To say that Sam Fuller's films are "the cinema of the extreme " is to understate the situation. Mr. Fuller seemed to believe he could illustrate his theories of why things are the way they are by usng the most extreme examples in every story and idea.
In THE NAKED KISS, Sam Fuller might be saying that because our society is structured the way it is, women and children are pretty much unprotected when a socially acceptable appearing predator, expecially one with wealth and position, comes calling on society's most helpless potential victims.
THE NAKED KISS has sharp contrast B&W cinematography, beautiful musical interludes and enough shocking situations to fill several films from the same era. I think that it is the juxtoposition of these contrasts, one right after another that really make this film dig into your psyche, at least while you're viewing it.
As I said, some of the contrasts are quite jarring but the overall theme is smoothly delivered and sort of sneaks up on you, even now, in 2009.
Yes, violence gets the story moving and pretty much resolves the criminal situation but Sam Fuller's larger question remains: How can this situation be allowed to exist? A startling question in 1964 and an even more urgent question in 2009.
The Critereon edition of THE NAKED KISS has no extras save the trailer & scene selections feature, something of a disapppointment. I gave this film a five star rating because if you give THE NAKED KISS half a chance it'll grab at your consciousness and won't let you go for some time.