Kiss of Death (1977 film)

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The Kiss of Death
"Kiss of Death" (1977 film).jpg
Directed by Mike Leigh
Produced by David Rose
Starring David Threlfall as Trevor
Clifford Kershaw as Mr Garside
John Wheatley as Ronnie
Angela Curran as Sandra
Kay Adshead as Linda
Music by Carl Davis
Release date
Running time
80 minutes

The Kiss of Death is a 1977 BBC TV film.

Mike Leigh directed 'this whimsical, made-for-television tale about Trevor, (David Threlfall), an unusually bashful mortician's assistant', whose moods and personality really make up the subject of the film. A natural landscape for Leigh's offbeat and bleakly humorous worldview. Leigh has often said the film is one of his favourites, not least because Trevor contains certain autobiographical elements.[1]

Trevor and his friend Ronnie form a foursome with Linda and Sandra. A brake on Trevor's joy in life 'is the factual premonition of everyday death', and the central incident of a cot death affects him profoundly.

Critical responses[edit]

The film is highly regarded by the critic Michael Coveney, who wrote in a 1996 study of Leigh's work : "The kissing part of The Kiss of Death is an extraordinary scene. Linda and Trevor are on a sofa, she chewing away, he nervously amused but not exactly apprehensive...The playing of Kay Adshead and David Threlfall indicates every stage of this sexual jousting match with faultless accuracy and perception. We glimpse ... an entire catalogue of human emotions in the mating game: anxiety, cruelty, affection, wonder, contempt and playfulness. This is how love scenes are endured in life, not in the movies, but distilled and refined for this movie." [2]


  1. ^ Michael Coveney, The World according to Mike Leigh, p.107
  2. ^ Coveney, p.111-112

External links[edit]