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THE DEATH KISS (1933)!! On TCM this morning!


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Hope other early birds might be out there getting ready to groove hard to this morning's rockin' mystery flick, THE DEATH KISS, from 1933, and featuring much of the cast from the 1931 DRACULA, including Edward Van Sloan, David Manners, and Bela Lugosi his own bad self!! This is a very cool low-budget suspense flick, and one not to be missed!!!

 

Please let us know if you dig on it, like me!!

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I diggidy dog love this movie!

 

I believe the opening is fantastic as it twists us through a blatant murder to a movie scene non-murder to a tricky murder.

 

There are many great lines and comebacks sprinkled throughout.

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I watched the film yesterday. I must tell you it's hackneyed work of the highest order. The acting was at times over the top and facile. Lugosi was a mere ghost of a presence. At points, some scenes were almost cringe worthy like the colorized flashlights. Two thumbs down and a waste of a DVD-R disc.

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I didn't like it either. Definitely falls short of David Manners' work at Universal and Warners.

 

This particular print has continuous jump cuts-- if you add up all the missing frames, there is probably a good ten minutes of the movie that is missing.

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I like the film. It's too bad that this is probably the best existing print of this film, but I love the hand stenciled color bits at the end. It is an excellent example of poverty row film making. Yes, some of the acting is not top notch, and the plot is a bit hokey, but still it does not cease to entertain me. What a great budget saving device, murder on a film studio back lot.

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> Scottman wrote:

> I like the film. It's too bad that this is probably the best existing print of this film

 

I believe this condition of the print adds to the movie's charm. It is as the patina of an old English sports car which makes you feel as if it has sped many miles on twisting country lanes and it makes you want to climb in and share such experiences with it anew. A pristine print is as an over-restored garage queen which has no soul and makes you afraid to breathe on it.

 

I find this a fun and comfortable movie and I firmly believe that those who would denounce it mightily for the condition of the print have neither the soul nor the wit to appreciate or understand the aesthetic values of 1930s B movies.

 

I feel that the opening minutes merit the viewer forgiving many other faults throughout the movie because the quota of brilliance in staging and story was used there rather than spread thinly over the entire work.

 

I must wonder if that is the first time in a movie in which a director chided an actor on the way they performed a death scene only to learn that they had truly died.

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Sans I agree that this is a fun movie. TCM had not run this one in many years. I really do enjoy this film. I have enjoyed many poverty row quickie productions that I've seen in the past. What really amazed me the first time I saw this film on TCM years ago was the hand stenciling at the end. That was a throwback to the silent era, where it was used frequently. It adds a certain charm to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a condition snob, meaning that if the film isn't pristine, I wouldn't watch it Rather I see these not unlike one would look a a piece of ancient Greek or Egyptian art that has survived the centuries. Some have pieces missing, or have faded, but it does not ruin their beauty or their significance as a cultural artifacts.

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> Scottman wrote:

> Don't get me wrong, I'm not a condition snob, meaning that if the film isn't pristine, I wouldn't watch it

 

I am sorry if my comments could be taken to imply that you are. I do not remember ever seeing any post of yours which suggested a thing other than a great love of movies.

 

I meant only to convey that I like this movie as it is and I believe others should like it as it is also.

 

I found it humorous that there is a jump in the scene wherein a character is trying to pronounce a difficult word. It is as if the word was so very ponderous that it broke the film! :) Such touches add to the movie's charm.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bravo to whoever programmed THE DEATH KISS. I was impressed by the print quality of this Poverty Row mystery and would like to see more such titles on TCM...MURDER AT MIDNIGHT, STRANGERS OF THE EVENING, THE CROOKED CIRCLE, STRANGE PEOPLE, MURDER ON THE CAMPUS, MURDER BY TELEVISION, A SHOT IN THE DARK, THE SPANISH CAPE MYSTERY, et al.

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