Kiss of Death [1995/I]

This remake of a 1947 film noir casts David Caruso (freshly escaped from TV's NYPD Blue) in the role originally played by Victor Mature. He plays Jimmy Kilmartin, a reformed criminal struggling to keep straight and keep his wife (Helen Hunt) from going back to the bottle. But a favor for his cousin lands him back in the clink, and when his wife dies, he comes out ready to make a deal with the D.A. He becomes an informant, joining the crew of Little Junior Brown (Nicolas Cage), a pumped-up, asthmatic psycho who weightlifts strippers for amusement. Eventually, Jimmy finds himself forced to keep his radar up for treachery from both the criminals he's finking on and the cops he's working for. This film, directed by Barbet Schroeder, didn't do much business, despite a powerful but controlled performance by Caruso and a scarily splashy one by Cage. --Marshall Fine

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