Kiss of Blood (1948): Norman Foster’s Film Noir, Starring Burt Lancaster

In this film noir, Burt Lancaster plays Bill Saunders, a former Prisoner of War living in England whose traumatic experience has made him emotionally unstable. One night, while drinking in a pub, Bill gets into an argument with the owner which escalates into a fist fight and ends in Bill killing the man,

Bill is given shelter by Jane Wharton (Joan Fontaine), a kind-hearted nurse who believes he’s innocent of wrongdoing. Bill soon gets in a fight with a policeman and ends up in jail, but Jane, who has fallen in love with Bill, still has faith in him, and upon his release she finds him a job driving a truck delivering drugs for the clinic where she works.

The criminal Harry Carter (Robert Newton), who witnessed Bill’s murder of the pub owner, sees a perfect opportunity for blackmail, and he forces Bill to tip him off for his next major drug shipment. Bill agrees, but Jane tags along, which changes Bill’s plan.

Miklos Rozsa composed the film’s effectively atmospheric score.

Directed by Norman Foster.

Universal