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Kiss Of Death '95

4.1 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A New York hoodlum leads the district attorney to a grinning, giggling gangster. Directed by Henry Hathaway.

Special Features

None.

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: 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: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020HAX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kiss Of Death '95" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film should be regarded much more fondly than it is;

it follows Caruso, as he struggles for revenge against a merciless Little Junior, played by a menacing (and only halfway over-the-top) Nicolas Cage.
The material is all treated very well, the cars, the prison stuff; it keeps you interested. People usually don't seek this movie out, but as you're watching it, it pulls you in, and you find yourself engrossed by the blunt drama of its gritty narrative.
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Format: DVD
"Kiss of Death" is a great thriller from 1995. It is directed by Barbet Schroeder. And it is written by Eleazar Lipsky with screenplay by Ben Hecht. It is currently available on NetFlix Instant Download Streaming. Ex-con Jimmy Kilmartin agrees to drive a truck of stolen cars as a favor to a friend. Whilst on the job he gets caught but refuses to role over on the others involved. Whilst in prison his wife is killed in a car crash and Jimmy leaves prison, bitter but with a determination to move on. However NYPD officer Calvin wants to use Kilmartin to get close to Little Junior Brown and get evidence to shut him down. This was one of several vehicles that was planned to turn David Caruso from a TV hit to a big screen star - as we know, it didn't work out that way. However the story is pretty solid, it doesn't break new ground and there's nothing outside of the usual crime thriller plot to surprise you but it's really quite good. At times it's a little dull because it is so straight forward but it's mostly entertaining. Caruso, for all his current lack of success, is actually very good. The problem is that he's good by doing the same "NY Irish tough but fair" role that he did in NYPD Blue, King of New York, Bodycount and most films he's done! It's good but I don't think he can do anything else. Jackson has presence as he always does and the support cast is really well filled out with people like Helen Hunt, Stanley Tucci, Rapaport, Philip Baker Hall, Ving Rhames. Nicolas Cage's Little Junior is a mixed bag. At some points he is effective but for the most part he's horribly OTT and hammy. His character is full of ticks and eccentricities that at the end of the day that's all Cage has to do. Overall this is a solid thriller with no surprises. Caruso fans (like me) will like it regardless because it's Caruso doing his usual role. But others may not be so easily made to overlook the weaknesses.
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