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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Unafraid')

Directed by Norman Foster
USA
1948

 

Joan Fontaine and Burt Lancaster star in Kiss the Blood off My Hands, a classic film noir about fate and love amongst the most unlikely individuals. Former P.O.W Bill Saunders (Lancaster) is living in England and scarred with unstable and violent tendencies. After killing a man in a bar fight, he flees the scene and manages to find cover in the home of Nurse Jane Wharton (Fontaine) who agrees to take him in and believes his version of the story being an accident. Now in love, nurse Warton tries to secure Saunders a job delivering medical supplies after being released from prison after serving time for fighting with a police officer. Things take a turn, however, when a racketeer (Robert Newton) who witnessed Saunders’ murder threatens to turn him into the police unless he agrees to assist in a crime.

***

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands was a pleasant surprise, though I was initially skeptical as to whether or not it would live up to its salacious title. The film screams noir from the opening moments, as Burt, having accidentally killed a bartender, leads the Bobbies on a ten-minute foot chase through the maze-like London waterfront. He only escapes by climbing through an open window and forcibly shushing the woman he finds inside — a mousy blonde (Fontaine) startled from a restless sleep. The sequence plays without much dialog, and Russell Metty’s cinematography establishes the mood. Close-ups of a sweaty, terrified Lancaster abound. As do handhelds, chiaroscuro lighting, high angles, low angles, and seedy waterfront exteriors. The film’s noir motif is so strongly established that is compares favorably with Jules Dassin’s later London masterpiece Night and the City.

Excerpt from WhereDangerLives located HERE

***

Norman Foster has directed "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands" with keen appreciation for the story's emotional content and he has handled the scenes of violence with striking sharpness. The long chase that starts the film on its way, with Lancaster desperately racing through winding streets and alleyways of the London waterfront, vaulting fences and scrambling1 up on roofs, is high-tension excitement. Mr. Lancaster's performance is good, but he would do well to drop some of his tenseness and get more flexibility into his acting. Robert Newton, as a cockney schemer who witnessed the killing and attempts to blackmail Saunders, is somewhat flamboyant but still he gets over an effective characterization. "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands" represents a good beginning for the new producing firm of Harold Hecht-Norma (Mr. Lancaster) Productions.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 30th, 1948

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal 'Vault Series' - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:19:25         1:19:16.042 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,516,698,053 bytes

Feature: 24,835,467,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1553 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1553 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: September 28th, 2016

Keep Case
Chapters: 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,516,698,053 bytes

Feature: 24,835,467,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Jeremy Arnold
• Theatrical Trailer (1:37)


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 14th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (June 2020): Kino have transferred Norman Foster's Kiss the Blood Off My Hands to Blu-ray. It is advertised as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". It's quite a jump beyond the interlaced SD image. The 1080P shows more information in the frame, on all 4 edges, is brighter and still maintains the heavy film-like thickness - a good representation of the film source. There are still speckles and most of the same small damage marks - although, surprisingly, they seem less - rather than usually more - prevalent in the higher resolution. This is a dark film and the shadow and light play by Metty looks wonderful in this HD presentation that is on a dial-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate.  

NOTE: We have added 62 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. There are some heavy-ish British accents but most of the dialogue is easily discernable with a score by the iconic Miklós Rózsa (The Killers, The Lost Weekend, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Double Indemnity) and has a stranglehold on the film's moods and atmosphere. Great tension is exported sounding effective and impactful in the lossless. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray has a new audio commentary by Film Historian Jeremy Arnold (author of The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter). He discusses how it is the most lurid title in all of film noir, of Kiss the Blood off My Hands being a romantic noir with melodrama, how it is the visually darkest noirs ever, about it as another post world war II alienation effort (NOTE: starts with a text screen: "The aftermath of war is rubble-- the rubble of cities and of men-- They are the casualties of a pitiless destruction. The cities can be rebuilt, but the wounds of men, whether of the mind or of the body, heal slowly."). He mentions how it was primarily shot on a soundstage, the high contrast lighting with pools of darkness, visual storytelling - having long takes with no dialogue and much more. There is also a trailer. 

Norman Foster's Kiss the Blood Off My Hands is absolutely wonderful - a quick, simple dark-cinema gem with two hypnotic stars. The film has enough Noir-conventions to make it on our Essential list - murder, black-mail, jail-time etc., and it's beautifully shot by the great Russell Metty. A dynamic 'on-the-run' suspense-driven picture weaving through alleyways of the London waterfront. I am so pleased to own on Blu-ray and the Jeremy Arnold commentary is another attractive bonus. Very strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands is another elusive Essential Noir that hasn't surfaced on digital until now?!? Who makes these decisions? Not only does it have Burt Lancaster and Joan Fontaine (what a pairing!) but it has one of the most exploitive titles in all of dark cinema!

The disc is predictably single-layered and has no menus, or extras, and the transfer is interlaced (see combing in bottom capture.) Aside from that it was surprisingly adept - texture with some contrast layering. Aside from an occasional vertical scratch or frame-specific mark it looked solid for SD on my system if soft. DoP Russell Metty's shadows and light and scrumptious - even in the lesser format.

The audio is a factor of the production - with some imperfections.  There are no subtitles and the media is locked to region FREE.

Again though, we show our displeasure at the pricing, made-on-demand status and lack of any extras. Only completist suckers like this reviewer need indulge.  

Gary Tooze

 


Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample -  Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Combing (interlaced) on the DVD

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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