Black SplatKiss of Death (1947)

"You know what I do with squealers?"

Kiss of Death - Richard Widmark

Description - Richard Widmark as psychopathic gangster Tommy Udo talks to a disabled woman in the motion picture Kiss of Death (1947).

Visiting the upstairs apartment home of wheel-chair-bound Ma Rizzo (Mildred Dunnock), Tommy inquires:

“I’m askin’ ya, where's that squealin’ son of yours? [weird giggle] You think a squealer can get away from me? Huh? [crazy laugh] You know what I do to squealers? I let ‘em have it in the belly, so they can roll around for a long time thinkin’ it over. You’re worse than him, tellin’ me he’s comin’ back? Ya lyin’ old hag!”

Tommy wheels Ma Rizzo to the top of the staircase and shoves her down a flight of steps.

Kiss of Death - Richard Widmark - Old Woman in Wheelchair

At the beginning of the film, Tommy Udo shares a holding cell with Nick Bianco (Victor Mature). Seeing a prison guard, Udo mumbles:

Look at that cheap squirt, passin’ up and down...For a nickel, I’d grab him, stick both thumbs in his eyes, hang on till he drops dead.”

Bianco later made a deal with the District Attorney (Brian Donlevy) in exchange for visitation rights to his see his daughters who lived in a Catholic orphanage after their mother comitted suicide when Nick was sentenced to prison.

At the end of the film, Nick intentionally humiliates Tommy Udo at a local restaurant and then calls the police and tells them to get there pronto if they want to catch Udo red-handed. Nick knew that Udo would be waiting outside to kill him when he left the restaurant. Udo even bought a nice dinner for Nick to eat, because he knew it would be his last. When the dinner arrived, Nick declined it, and then exited the eatery. Sadly, Nick took a bullet, but the police caught and killed Udo, just as Nick had planned.

Note: Years later, the ghastly giggle used by Richard Widmark in the movie inspired comedian Frank Gorshin’s nefarious laugh used for his criminal persona of The Joker on the 1960s ABC series BATMAN.

In the animated sci-fi adventure Day of the Tentacle (1993), Richard Sanders as nerdish college student Bernard Bernoulli pushes Edna (Peggy Roberts-Hope) down the stairs and says, "You know what they say: ‘To save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs'."

In the film Little Caesar (1930), Edward G. Robinson as gangster Caesar Enrico Bardello warns, "If anyone turns yellow and squeals, my gun’s gonna speak its piece."

In the film Dead End (1937), street kid Spit (Leo Gorcey) betrays his fellow street thugs by squealing about the gang’s illegal actions. Angered at such disloyalty, thug Milty (Bernard Punsley) expresses his displeasure and says, "I pity the guy who snitched."

In the film Over the Edge (1979), Matt Dillon as Richie, a 14-year-old rebel living in a planned suburban community reminds his gang members of the time honored code of the street that favors killing snitches by sating, "The kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid."

Kiss of Death - Movie Poster


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