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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Iron Kiss" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm
USA 1964

 

The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society. But in the strange, hallucinatory territory of writer-director-producer Samuel Fuller (Shock Corridor, The Big Red One), perverse secrets inevitably simmer beneath a seemingly wholesome surface. Featuring radical visual touches, full-throttle performances, brilliant cinematography by Stanley Cortez (The Night of the Hunter), and one bizarrely beautiful musical number, The Naked Kiss is among Fuller’s greatest, boldest entertainments.

***

Director Sam Fuller once stated, during a cameo appearance in Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965), that "a film is like a battleground -love....hate...action...violence...death...in one word - emotion!" This simple philosophy couldn't be better illustrated than Fuller's astonishing opening sequence to The Naked Kiss (1964), which begins in the middle of a violent fight between a prostitute and her pimp and culminates with the pimp being beaten unconscious after he pulls off the woman's wig, revealing her bald head. It's a shocking image but is just the beginning of a 90-minute attack on middle-class morality and hypocrisy, which must have confused and disturbed audiences who first saw this hyperactive melodrama distributed on double bills or in theatres that specialized in B-movie fare. Anyone expecting sexual titillation was in for a surprise.

As the narrative of The Naked Kiss unfolds, Kelly (Constance Towers), the bewigged prostitute of the opening sequences, relocates to a small town in the Midwest and reinvents herself as a nurse who works with crippled children. Her excellent work at the hospital does not go unnoticed, especially by Grant (Michael Dante), a millionaire philanthropist, and soon the two are involved in a serious romance. When a discussion of marriage finally arises, Kelly decides to be completely honest and reveal her sordid past to Grant. Surprisingly, he accepts her without any recriminations and they seal their engagement plans with a kiss. Kelly senses something terribly wrong when their lips meet but she chooses to ignore it. Instead, she focuses on her upcoming wedding but is eventually confronted with the horrible truth about Grant - he's a child molester!

Excerpt From TCM located HERE

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: 29 October 1964

Reviews         More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

VCI - Collector's Edition - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL vs. VCI - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ashirg and Alain Dupont for the Screen Caps!

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine # 13

Region 1 - NTSC

Wild Side Vidéo
Region 2 - PAL
VCI
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region A - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:15 1:30:33 1:26:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:30:15 1:30:51.487
Video

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1:66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1:33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:33:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 4.81 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,081,720,836 bytes

Feature: 26,637,557,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

VCI (2007)

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Collection - Spine # 13

 

Bitrate:

 

Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller)

 

Bitrate:

 

VCI

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 English Dolby Digital 1.0

English Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0

English Dolby Digital 1.0

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None None French (non removable) None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Video Interview with Krista Fuller (30:49)
• Video Interview with Samantha Fuller (11:26)
• Video Interview with Michael Dante (32:07)
• TV Episode 'Dark Stranger' (25:43)
• Michael Dante Interviews Constance Towers (Audio Only) (6:21)
• Biographies and Filmographies
• 3 trailers (Slightly Scarlet, Bad Blonde, Man Bait)

DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
Keepcase

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection - Spine # 13

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1:66:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer
• Color bars

DVD Release Date: 25 August 1998
Keep Case

Chapters
 

Release Information:
Studio: Wild Side Vidéo

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1:33:1

Edition Details:
• Disc 1 : Shock Corridor (1963)
• Disc 2 : The Naked Kiss (1964)
• Same extras for both discs/movies :
• Picture gallery, internet links and filmographies
• DVD-ROM bonus : posters
• Disc 3 : Extras
• Documentaries :
• Play it around Sam (French, 25:21) (Wild Side Vidéo documentary by Olivier Serrano about Fuller)
• La machine à écrire, le fusil et le cinéaste (English, 27:26)
• (excerpts from Adam Simon's 1996 documentary The Typewriter, The Rifle and the Movie Camera)
• A 12-page booklet by Samuel Blumenfeld about Fuller, Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss (in French)

 

DVD Release Date: 4 October 2005
Custom Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1:33:1

Edition Details:
• Photo gallery
• Short biographies
• Featurette: TV episode from

 

DVD Release Date: 30 May 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,081,720,836 bytes

Feature: 26,637,557,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• New video interview with star Constance Towers by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis in 2007 (28:48)
• Excerpts from a 1983 episode of The South Bank Show dedicated to director
Samuel Fuller (31:05)
• Interview with Fuller from a 1967 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps (23:31)
• Interview with Fuller from a 1987 episode of the French television series Cinéma cinémas (12:50)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:00)
• 26-page liner notes booklet with illustrations by cartoonist Daniel Clowes featuring an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito and excerpts from Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking

Blu-ray Release Date: January 18th, 2011
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray January 11': As many could have predicted this is a dramatic increase in video quality from the many editions (this is a PD title) - which include Criterion's non-16X9 enhanced 1998 DVD edition (spine #13). Contrast is a notable improvement as are detail, grain visibility and the visuals are cleaner without disruptive damage marks. The Criterion Blu-ray is stated as being 1.75:1 but it doesn't look but a hair off 1.78:1 to me. Aside from a smidgeon of noise in the darker recesses of Kelly's jail cell - I have no complaints and whatever process Criterion used to procure this 1080P presentation - it's a substantial increase in quality - one Fuller's fans will greatly appreciate.

Audio is lossless - faithfully mono in a linear PCM track sounding consistent and clear. There are optional English subtitles and, predictably, my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

Supplements are strong. We get a new video interview with star Constance Towers by film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis from 2007 - running almost 1/2 hour. She still looks great - delicate and refined and it is nice to hear her talk about the film and its director. There are 30-minutes of excerpts from a 1983 episode of The South Bank Show UK) dedicated to Fuller where we see and hear his impressive character reminisce about segments of his life. There are two interviews from French TV with burned-in subtitles - the first from a 1967 episode of the television series Cinéastes de notre temps running 23-minutes and a latter 12-minute one via a 1987 episode of the French television series Cinéma cinémas. We get the original theatrical trailer and an amazing 26-page liner notes booklet with delightful illustrations by cartoonist Daniel Clowes featuring an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito and excerpts from Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking. Only thing missing here is a commentary but this still ranks as one of the essential purchases of the early year.

P.S. Certainly ranks as 'Cover of the Year' so far, IMO. :)

Gary W. Tooze

***

ADDITION: VCI (CE) - May 2008': Even though the new VCI DVD is anamorphic, it's still doesn't improve much on the image. The picture has higher resolution compared to previous releases, but it's still non-progressive and has the same damage spots (see the last capture). Where VCI does improve is in the provided extras although original trailer is still missing from VCI disc. We get nice interviews with a widow and a daughter of Samuel Fuller and with 2 leading actors (Anthony Eisley who plays Capt. Griff passed away in 2003), although Constance Towers interview is only audio and too short. Criterion unofficially announced plans to revisit this film and Shock Corridor in the near future, so until that time we recommend either new VCI disc if you can find cheap or French Wild Side Vidéo for open matte picture.

 - Gregory Meshman

***

ON THE WILD SIDE DVD: The Region 2 looks very good, it is much sharper and has less artifacts (and damage too) than the Criterion. The Wild-Side has two major drawbacks though: non removable (but not very intrusive) white French subtitles. These subs are player generated and can be removed by some enterprising individual. On most computers you can watch both movies without subtitles. 

Here is a translation of what Manuel Chiche, Director of Wild Side Vidéo, wrote in a French DVD forum about their Fuller boxset :

"Both Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss have been originally shot in the 1:37:1 aspect ratio. Blacks bars have subsequently been added for the theatrical releases. We present both films in their original aspect ratios."

Well, lots of stuff is originally shot in 4:3 but theatrically presented at a widescreen ratio - this is common. Cutting to the chase - It appears as though both the Wild Side and VCI editions are the 'Open Matte' version of the film.

For extras, the PAL edition's are obviously superior. Wild Side's DVD has a 3rd disc containing documentaries. The first one is entitled "Play it again Sam" and is in French. IMPORTANT ! : the second one is in English and consists of excerpts (ONLY excerpts) from the documentary "The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera". Some movie excerpts appearing in the original documentary couldn't be shown because of rights issues (the British Film Institute hasn't given its authorization).

Lastly the Wild Side has some nice animated menus.

- Alain Dupont and Gary Tooze

 



Menus

 

VCI (2007)
 


(Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 
 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL forced subtitle sample

 

 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) VCI (Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Vidéo (Coffret Fuller) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine # 13

Region 1 - NTSC

Wild Side Vidéo
Region 2 - PAL
VCI
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 13 - Region A - Blu-ray

Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

 




 

 

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