Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)

Based on Horace McCloy's 1948 novel

US Artisan unrated DVD edition



A Great Crime-Heist movie i had never heard about and i was pleasantly surprised watching it. Maybe not really a Film Noir perhaps?
KTG is more regular entertainment than Desperation, Darkness and Angst and James Cagney is magnificent in his uniquely over the
top way of acting as the psychopathic robber and killer Ralph Cotter. James "White Heat" Cagney owns this film with his relaxed and
ironical style .... could that be Over the Top at the same time? Yes, Cagney managed that.

This film must be a forgotten gem where James Cagney is a Big A and the rest is purely B, with Barbara Payton being B in the right Cult
movie way. Helena Carter is good-bad also as a cretinous rich girl without any morals whatsoever.

Horace McCloy

The film is based on Horace McCloy's 1948 pulp fiction novel (same name) and McCloy was a writer that debuted with a big Bang in 1935
with the hailed novel They Shoot Horses, Don't They? which has become something of an American Classic. It's a heart-wrenching read,
depressing, dark, poetic and filled with empathy. A heart-wrenching watch too as it was filmed very successfully in 1969 by Sydney
Pollack and with Jane Fonda in, my view, her BEST role ever. About the humiliating marathon dances during the Depression

US Pocket book 1948 edition of the 1935 novel

The main guy in the novel is a highly intelligent but nihilistic übermench with brutal views about women and humanity. He's a
psychopath and this study in Psychopathy preceds the writings of Jim Thompson, another master of the crime genre.
In the film Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye James Cagney's role figure's mental sickness is a bit downplayed due to his charisma.

The film starts with a Flashback to a court-room where a prosecutor agitates the Jury with panegyrical depictions of the evil deeds
the accused has committed, and then we're on a Prison Farm where we get to meet Ralph Cotter (James Cagney) and his prisoner
buddy Carlton. Cotter escapes in a break-out that has been planned by Carlton's sister Holiday (Barbara Payton) but his fellow
escapee Carlton and some guards dies as a result. After having been beatened up by Cotter she becames his gangster bitch,
and no reason to get upset as everyone in this film are despicable, rotten to the bone, male as female.

So, on the outside of prison again Cotter initiates a Crime Wave and he encounters i.a. the corrupt crime cops Webber and Reese,
the mobster lawyer Cherokee and the amoral and stupid Rich Girl Margaret Dobson (Helena Carter). This film was entertaining
and is presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black & white, english mono audio. No extras

 

Back to Film Noir page