The Naked Kiss (1964)

93 mins | Melodrama | 4 May 1964

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller

Producer:

Samuel Fuller

Cinematographer:

Stanley Cortez

Editor:

Jerome Thoms

Production Designer:

Eugene Lourié

Production Company:

Allied Arists
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HISTORY

Nearly two years after a 14 Aug 1964 LAT brief first noted that filmmaker Samuel Fuller had an original screenplay in the works titled The Iron Kiss, the 23 Jun 1956 edition announced his intention to produce it as a stage play that could then be reworked as part of his five-feature deal with RKO Pictures. Fuller elaborated on his plans in the 3 Feb 1957 issue of LAT, explaining that he considered building a theatrical stage show into the budget as an expensive “rehearsal” from which he could collect feedback from critics to improve upon the script. However, contemporary sources did not indicate a legitimate version was ever publicly staged, and Fuller took the property with him when he moved from RKO to Columbia Pictures the following year. A 26 Jul 1958 NYT article claimed Fuller was now contracted to make four pictures for Columbia through his production banner, Globe Enterprises, Inc. Although The Iron Kiss was to be the first project on his slate, development did not move ahead.
       Five years later, Fuller struck a deal to produce and direct The Iron Kiss for Leon Fromkess and Sam Firks’s independent company, Allied Artists, which would also serve as a distributor. A 13 Jul 1963 LAT news story reported that John Washbrook had been tested for a major role. Despite Allied’s firm financial commitment, various DV items indicated that the Jul 1963 start date was repeatedly pushed until 21 Oct 1963. Principal photography took place on the Samuel Goldwyn Studios Los Angeles, CA. Shortly after production began, the 6 Nov 1963 ... More Less

Nearly two years after a 14 Aug 1964 LAT brief first noted that filmmaker Samuel Fuller had an original screenplay in the works titled The Iron Kiss, the 23 Jun 1956 edition announced his intention to produce it as a stage play that could then be reworked as part of his five-feature deal with RKO Pictures. Fuller elaborated on his plans in the 3 Feb 1957 issue of LAT, explaining that he considered building a theatrical stage show into the budget as an expensive “rehearsal” from which he could collect feedback from critics to improve upon the script. However, contemporary sources did not indicate a legitimate version was ever publicly staged, and Fuller took the property with him when he moved from RKO to Columbia Pictures the following year. A 26 Jul 1958 NYT article claimed Fuller was now contracted to make four pictures for Columbia through his production banner, Globe Enterprises, Inc. Although The Iron Kiss was to be the first project on his slate, development did not move ahead.
       Five years later, Fuller struck a deal to produce and direct The Iron Kiss for Leon Fromkess and Sam Firks’s independent company, Allied Artists, which would also serve as a distributor. A 13 Jul 1963 LAT news story reported that John Washbrook had been tested for a major role. Despite Allied’s firm financial commitment, various DV items indicated that the Jul 1963 start date was repeatedly pushed until 21 Oct 1963. Principal photography took place on the Samuel Goldwyn Studios Los Angeles, CA. Shortly after production began, the 6 Nov 1963 DV reported that the title was changed to The Naked Kiss.
       Production was likely brief, as an 28 Feb 1965 NYT article profiling Fuller’s filmmaking style claimed that, “on the average, Fuller [spent] 10 days and $200,000 making a movie.” On 29 Nov 1963, DV noted that star Constance Towers had returned to the studio during post-production to complete voice dubbing for her role, which included singing.
       According to the 6 Nov 1963 Var, psychiatrist Dr. Thomas J. Myers served as a technical advisor throughout production.
       A 31 Dec 1963 DV item announced that Allied Artists had scheduled a barbeque and press premiere in Towers’s hometown of Whitefish, MT, on 2-3 Apr 1964. The 25 Mar 1964 Var reported additional publicity efforts through the publishing of a paperback novelization by Belmont Books.
       Sources indicated that the picture debuted 4 May 1964 at the Roosevelt Theatre in Chicago, IL. A box-office report published in the 6 May 1964 DV suggested that screenings were also booked around this time at the Grand Circus Theater in Detroit, MI. The Naked Kiss opened 28 Oct 1964 in New York City, and daily theater guides published in the 18-23 Nov 1964 editions of the LAT revealed that the film had a one-week run at the Brawley Drive-In in Brawley, CA, before its official Los Angeles, CA, area release as the companion feature to Youngblood Hawke (see entry) on 13 Jan 1965. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Oct 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1963
p. 11.
Daily Variety
29 Nov 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1963
p. 10.
Daily Variety
12 May 1964
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Aug 1954
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jun 1956
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
3 Feb 1967
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jul 1958
Section B, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
26 Apr 1963
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1963
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
18 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jan 1965
Section D, p. 6.
New York Times
26 Jul 1958
p. 6.
New York Times
29 Oct 1964
p. 38.
New York Times
28 Feb 1965
Section SM, pp. 42-43, 45-46, 48, 50.
Variety
6 Nov 1963
p. 14.
Variety
25 Mar 1964
p. 15.
Variety
6 May 1964
p. 10.
Variety
20 Jan 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam op
Asst cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Art dir
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
Music ed
Sd eff ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Santa Lucia," words and music by Teodoro Cottrau, sung by John Guarniere.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Iron Kiss
Release Date:
4 May 1964
Premiere Information:
Whitefish, MT press premiere: 2 April 1964
Chicago opening: 4 May 1964
New York opening: 28 October 1964
Los Angeles opening: 13 January 1965
Production Date:
began 21 October 1963
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Kelly, a prostitute, leaves town after a fight with her procurer and takes the money he owes her. She comes to the small town of Grantville, where her first customer is Griff, the police chief, who advises her to avoid arrest by going to work for Candy's bordello across the state line. Instead, Kelly remains in town and takes a job as nurse's aid at a hospital, where she soon establishes a close rapport with the children in her ward. Griff discovers that she is still in town, and although he does not believe that she desires to reform, he reluctantly agrees to give her a chance. Later she falls in love with Grant, a wealthy grandson of the town's founder. Meanwhile, Kelly completes her reformation by helping two associates. Buff, an innocent girl, decides to become a prostitute at Candy's after the madam gives her some cash, but Kelly changes Buff's mind, returns the money, and assaults Candy. When an unmarried nurse's aid becomes pregnant, Kelly borrows money from Grant so that the woman can leave town to have her baby rather than undergo an abortion. Kelly is gratified by Grant's indifference to her past, until she makes a surprise visit to his home and discovers him molesting a little girl. Shocked at the scene and hurt by Grant's pleas for understanding because they are both "abnormal," she kills him and surrenders herself to Griff. The police chief does not believe her story, and Kelly's position is weakened by both Candy and her former procurer, who testify that she is a blackmailer. Although the nurse's aid describes Kelly's help during her pregnancy, Griff believes that the money she ... +


Kelly, a prostitute, leaves town after a fight with her procurer and takes the money he owes her. She comes to the small town of Grantville, where her first customer is Griff, the police chief, who advises her to avoid arrest by going to work for Candy's bordello across the state line. Instead, Kelly remains in town and takes a job as nurse's aid at a hospital, where she soon establishes a close rapport with the children in her ward. Griff discovers that she is still in town, and although he does not believe that she desires to reform, he reluctantly agrees to give her a chance. Later she falls in love with Grant, a wealthy grandson of the town's founder. Meanwhile, Kelly completes her reformation by helping two associates. Buff, an innocent girl, decides to become a prostitute at Candy's after the madam gives her some cash, but Kelly changes Buff's mind, returns the money, and assaults Candy. When an unmarried nurse's aid becomes pregnant, Kelly borrows money from Grant so that the woman can leave town to have her baby rather than undergo an abortion. Kelly is gratified by Grant's indifference to her past, until she makes a surprise visit to his home and discovers him molesting a little girl. Shocked at the scene and hurt by Grant's pleas for understanding because they are both "abnormal," she kills him and surrenders herself to Griff. The police chief does not believe her story, and Kelly's position is weakened by both Candy and her former procurer, who testify that she is a blackmailer. Although the nurse's aid describes Kelly's help during her pregnancy, Griff believes that the money she got from Grant was extorted. Kelly then reveals her real reason for visiting Candy, and Buff finally corroborates her testimony. Uncertain, Griff locates the girl Grant molested, and Kelly is cleared. Vindicated, Kelly leaves Grantville, despite the townspeople's pleas and Griff's marriage proposal. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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