Sunday, November 10, 2013

Grantville, USA: Where Prostitution, Pederasty, and Unisex Cologne Collide

Reflections on 

The Naked Kiss (1964)

a film by Samuel Fuller

                                                                                                                                                                                There once was a bald prostitute named Kelly, who woke up one day and decided that she wasn't going to take it anymore. Her lying, conniving pimp had held out on her too many times before. 

           Added to that, his idea of a practical joke was to slip her a mickey and shave her head, which was how she became bald in the first place. The time for justice had clearly arrived. Kelly beat her oppressor up, and removed from his overstuffed wallet precisely the amount of money he owed: $75, no more and no less. The rest of the grubby bills she threw disdainfully down at her former overlord lying unconscious on the dirty-carpet-covered floor.

She placed her wig back on her shiny head and set out on her own, 
never to be taken advantage of again.

The date of this life-transforming event, logically enough, was July 4, 1961.


Two years later, now a seasoned independent contractor, Kelly has been working through a variety of small towns. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                     One fine summer day, the now blonde woman happens by chance upon Grantville, USA, where she strolls off the bus at the depot and is immediately taken note of by the local police authority, Captain Griff, who, it later emerges, always works in plain clothes, because everyone knows who he is.

They exchange looks of interest and Kelly sets her trap, her hips swinging from left to right and back again in a curve-hugging boiled wool skirt in all likelihood designed by Gabrielle Chanel. Kelly finds a comfortable place on a bench in the local park, where she proceeds to rest her weary legs and read a few pages of a paperback book--romance genre, naturally.

Captain Griff, being a red-blooded heterosexual male, takes the bait. He chats Kelly up and learns that she is a traveling saleswoman, peddling a new kind of champagne. The alluring woman offers Griff a special price as a way of drumming up business in the new town, she says. She knows from past experience, of course, that getting in good with the law is always a sound approach to avoiding potential tangles later on down the line.

After a bit of bubbly, the couple prepares to part ways, Griff leaving Kelly in his apartment, where he says that she can stay just until the end of the day, at which point she'd best take her business elsewhere, beyond the city limits of Grantville, USA.

At first, Kelly is miffed by Griff's rebuff, but he magnanimously offers to help her out by revealing that Candy's place is open for business, and it's located just outside Grantville, a short walk away. Griff assures Kelly that he'll be a regular customer and looks forward to seeing her there. 

The couple agrees that Kelly will be Griff's ichi-ban, a Japanese expression which he learned while serving in the military abroad.

The two part amicably, Kelly leaving behind a keepsake pen, to ensure that Griff will not forget her name.

A bit later, Kelly is snooping around Griff's apartment and discovers a bottle of cologne. 
She opens it up, takes a sniff, nods approvingly and applies some of the fragrance to her neck and décolleté.

As Kelly rubs her moist fingertips together to better diffuse the cologne, she is struck by an epiphany. She catches a glance of herself in a mirror across the way and moves closer in to carefully examine her face. 

In the harsh afternoon sunlight streaming through the window, Kelly suddenly sees that her crow's feet and marionnette lines are deepening with each passing day.

For the first time she realizes that she'd better find an alternative means of gainful employment, as the unthinkable has transpired: she has reached middle age!


  1. Do you know which juice is in the bottle? I can't tell from the picture...
    Very much looking forward to part 2!

    1. Thank you, Jale! I have tried to no avail to figure out the identity of the cologne. I zoomed into the screen shots but was unable to figure out which one it is. Hopefully someone else will recognize it...

      This movie, by the way, is so ridiculously bad that it's GREAT!

      I'm glad that you're also enjoying my take. (I cannot even proofread it without cackling outloud ;-)). I was planning to wait to post the whole essay, but then I made a mistake and pushed "publish" instead of "preview". Oh well, this is probably a more digestible chunk anyway...

  2. Shera you offered me a great night at the movies! This is the best B movie I have ever seen! Did you notice a goof in the scene at the park? When Kelly closes her case of Angel Foam Griff's jacket gets caught in it. He tries to yank it out but Kelly is too fast and too strong. As they talk he continues to try to yank the jacket out of the case to no avail. Next seen is a close-up on Griff's face. The jacket has been liberated

    1. I would go further: it's the best *D* movie I've ever seen! Truly remarkable. So rich in analyzable content and yet, at the same time, so profoundly absurd. There will be at least two more entries on this exceptional (in so many ways!) work...

      I did not notice that goof--an excuse to watch this disasterpiece yet again!!! ;-)

      Had you seen The Naked Kiss before, or were you following my implicit recommendation (it's true: I don't review films that are not worth viewing...)..

      Nice to read you again, Christos. I do hope that all is well in the land of clocks and democracy (as Harry Lime, the villain of The Third Man, characterizes it...).

      Isn't it funny how so many perfumistas also love films and cats? Or maybe not.
      Perhaps it's simply logical...

    2. No, I just followed you blindly. I had seen Chloe though

      As far as low alphabet letters go, do lok for "Birdemic": I magine a D movie. Then imagine a film made of the reject scenes of this movie. The Naked Kiss will be a lot less absurd. What is more interesting about Birdemic and its director is that there you can find interviews of him that are equally absurd, leading me to believe that this is more of an obscure project than an actual bad film.

      As far as films, cats and perfume, I believe that it has more to do with the fuzzy logic required to interpret them.

      I love this country of clocks and democracy.I would also add wonderful cheese, black money and Russian money


All relevant comments are welcome at the salon de parfum—whether in agreement or disagreement with the opinions here expressed.

Effective March 14, 2013, comment moderation has been implemented in order to prevent the receipt by subscribers of unwanted, irrelevant remarks.