Richard Widmark

Reminiscent of Mae West asking Beulah to peel her a grape, Richard Widmark , as the psychotic hoodlum, ‘Tommy Udo’ in KISS OF DEATH(1947), sneers at assistant D.A. Brian Donlevy who tries to get some information  from him:

I wouldn’t give you the skin off a grape.”

What a debut film for Widmark as the cackling killer. He later said,  “That damned laugh of mine. For two years after that picture, you couldn’t get me to smile!”

Fortunately Richard managed to evade gangster typecasting  in the rest of his career.

The film is remembered for the horrific scene where Udo pushed a wheelchair bound elderly woman down a flight of stairs. ( how it passed the censors, I don’t know.)



That’s some hairstyle .


Richard Widmark (1914-2008) went to Princeton High School in Princeton, Illinois.  The newspaper highlights Widmark being a local. ( The film was only screened in his home  town after he had been Oscar-nominated).


Victor Mature, Patricia Morison

I was interested to read that Patricia Morison played Victor Mature’s suicide driven first wife in the film, but her scenes were cut from the final print.



4 responses »

  1. Widmark said the wheelchair scene was done twice due to an error by the cameraman.
    Patricia Morison’s scenes were cut at the insistence of the censors; she’s still listed in the credits though.
    As well as the Oscar nomination, Widmark also won a Golden Globe for “Kiss Of Death”.

    • Patricia Morison should have been a bigger star. Having left Hollywood in the late 40s, she starred in Kiss Me Kate on Broadway – she also costarred in this Cole Porter musical, along with Howard Keel, when BBC2 launched in 1964.

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