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Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands(1948)

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NOTES

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The working title for this film was The Unafraid. In 1948 Dell Publications released a new paperback edition of Gerald Butler's novel retitled The Unafraid. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, the film's title was to be changed from Kiss the Blood Off My Hands to the less graphic Blood on My Hands. A New York Times news item indicates that the PCA initially blocked the full title, but that decision was later overturned on appeal.
       The following written prologue appears in the onscreen credits: "The aftermath of war is rubble-the rubble of cities and men-They are the casualties of a pitiless destruction. The cities can be rebuilt, but the wounds of men, whether of the mind or the body, heal slowly. This is the story of one such man and the girl whose path he crossed."
       A news item from the Los Angeles Times indicates that Eagle-Lion Productions purchased an option on Butler's novel in 1946 as a starring vehilcle for Robert Donat. Kiss the Blood Off My Hands was the first production for Norma Productions, an independent company formed by producer and actor Harold Hecht and Burt Lancaster and named after Lancaster's wife. The film marked British actor Robert Newton's American film debut. According to a February 1948 Hollywood Reporter item, cinematographer Gregg Toland was originally hired as the director of photographer. Studio production notes indicate that some scenes were filmed on location at the Griffith Park Zoo in Los Angeles. During the film's production Joan Fontaine was absent for 12 days due to her pregnancy.
       Contemporary news items indicate that in March 1948 Charles K. Feldman Productions filed a million dollar suit against ten co-defendants, including Universal-International, Norma Productions, Inc., Gerald Butler, Richard Vernon, Burt Lancaster, Joan Fontaine, Eagle-Lion of New York, Phil Berg-Bert Allenberg, Inc., Curtil Brown, Ltd., Harold Hecht and Allan Collins, over ownership of the screen rights to Butler's novel. Daily Variety notes that in July 1948 the California Superior Court sustained the demurrer of Universal-International and the defendants. There is no indication that the Feldman Group took further action. Fontaine and Lancaster recreated their roles for the Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on February 21, 1949 under the title The Unafraid. Jay Novello, who had a small role in the film, was also in the broadcast.