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Kiss of Death


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Caruso, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicolas Cage, Helen Hunt, Kathryn Erbe
  • Directors: Barbet Schroeder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020HAX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kiss of Death" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

In Barbet Schroeder's gritty thriller, David Caruso is an ex-con who's lured back into a life of crime for one last heist. When a detective (Samuel L. Jackson) offers him his freedom in return for turning on a gangster (Nicolas Cage), he becomes a reluctant pawn caught between federal agents and the mob. Helen Hunt, Stanley Tucci and Michael Rapaport co-star in this stylish, streetsmart film noir.

Customer Reviews

The DA's not about to let things drop, however.
David Montgomery
Christmas gift for my hubby, didn't think it was my kind of movie, but to my surprise I enjoyed it as well.
Sheryl Howard
Both Nicolas Cage and David Caruso play their parts well.
George A. Sites

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
When David Caruso made headlines by leaving the hit TV show "NYPD Blue," the question people were asking was "Is he making a mistake?" Looking back on his career the past few years, we have to say that he did. But you couldn't tell that from his performance in "Kiss of Death." He's actually quite good.
Caruso plays Jimmy Kilmartin, a reformed car thief with a wife and baby who is desperately trying to go straight. Before he does, though, he reluctantly agrees to help his worthless cousin Ronny (Michael Rapaport) on one last run. If he doesn't, then Little Junior (Nicholas Cage), a sadistic killer, will bury Ronny. Naturally, things go bad. A cop gets shot and Jimmy ends up taking the fall by himself.
True to his personal code of honor, Jimmy won't rat out the others no matter how hard the sleazy DA (Stanley Tucci) pushes him. Then Ronny starts to move in on Jimmy's wife (Helen Hunt) and things really go wrong. Jimmy agrees to make a deal and cunningly manipulates events so that Little Junior takes Ronny down.
Three years later, Jimmy finally gets out of prison. The DA's not about to let things drop, however. He wants Little Junior bad and he'll do what it take to get him, even if that means using Jimmy and his family.
The plot of "Kiss of Death" is loosely based on the 1947 original-a class film noir-which featured Victor Mature, and Richard Widmark in his star?making role. (Remember his maniacal giggle as he pushed the old lady down the stairs?)
The story's been updated and it is grittier, realer and even more gripping. Novelist Richard Price ("Clockers") wrote the screenplay and he is one of the very best writers working in movies today.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Film Fan on August 2, 2006
Format: DVD
Frankly I enjoyed this film. I love Helen Hunt and Samuel L.Jackson. I thought that Nicholas Cage seemed a little bit amateur but as this film is 11 years old, perhaps he was at the time or perhaps it was just the psychotic role that he was interpreting. On the whole, I found it engrossing and quite exciting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Adequate reworking of the 1947 classic "Kiss of Death." David Caruso takes over for Victor Mature as the ex-con whose attempts to go straight are hindered when he does a favor for his cousin and winds up back in the slammer. Nicolas Cage hams it up as "Little Junior," an update of Tommy Udo, the role so memorably played by Richard Widmark in the original. This picture did not make Caruso, fresh from TV's "NYPD Blue," a movie star, but he is very good, more than holding his own against the showier Cage with a quiet but intense performance. The rest of the cast is fine, too, and "Kiss of Death" delivers the goods as promised, but doesn't linger in the mind the way the original tends to do. But then neither Cage nor Caruso get a scene as memorable as the one for which the 1947 edition continues to be known: Richard Widmark pushing an old woman tied into her wheelchair down a flight of stairs, laughing all the while.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "omniscientfool" on June 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
All right, so he's not the most convincing goon. It's still amusing to see him in this role. I'd say these nay-sayers need to lighten up. As a poor country boy unfamiliar with the urban crime cliches and plot twists, I can honestly say I enjoyed this movie. No, it's no masterpiece, but it is entertaining enough to be worth seeing, even buying at such a reasonable price. Caruso and (as they all admit) a fine supporting cast do very well with a now conventional plot that is at least not as droll as they say. This is probably the first time I've rated something higher than others. Strange.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on October 18, 2013
Format: DVD
Kiss of Death. This stylish 101 minute 1995 crime thriller is based on the same story as the classic 1947 Hollywood film noir of the same name. It features an unusually star-laden cast, and, at a cost of $40 million, with returns of $14 million, was not judged a success.

David Caruso plays Jimmy Kilmartin an ex-con, caught red-handed during a heist, who tries to distance himself from his past upon his release and lead an honorable life. But he reluctantly agrees to help Ronnie Gannon, (Michael Rapaport), his loser cousin, with one last heist that goes wrong. He refuses to rat out his underworld pals, but turns stoolie after they renege on their promises to him. Coerced by Frank Zioli, (Stanley Tucci), an ambitious prosecutor, he agrees to play the pawn in a police plot to bring down Little Junior Brown, (Nicholas Cage), a psychotic gangster. Helen Hunt plays Jimmy's wife Bev; Samuel L. Jackson plays Calvin Hart, an angry cop. Ving Rhames plays Omar, a psychotic Philadelphia-based mobster. Philip Baker Hall plays Big Junior Brown; Anthony Heald plays a fed. Comedienne Anne Meara plays Bev's mother.

Not a bad cast, and by and large, well-acted. As the lead, Caruso was very good at intensity and suffering stoically when receiving filmic punishment. He was paid $1 M for this gig, which he squeezed in in the hiatus between the first and short-lived second season of the phenomenally successful television show NYPD Blue. As many viewers will remember, he soon left the TV series in order to pursue a full-time film career, which failed to go anywhere. He doesn't really carry this picture very well. (Personally, I've always thought he was just too much of a skinny malink, as we used to say in Brooklyn, to play substantial roles.
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