: : : Dressed to Kill

Story

To condemn Dressed to Kill as a Hitchcock rip-off is to miss the sheer enjoyment of Brian De Palma's delirious 1980 thriller. Hitchcockian homages run rampant through most of De Palma's earlier films, and this one's chock-full of visual quotes, mostly cribbed from Vertigo and Psycho. But De Palma's indulgent depravity transcends simple mimicry to assume a vitality all its own. It's smothered in thickly atmospheric obsessions with sex, dread, paranoia, and voyeurism, not to mention a heavy dose of Psycho-like psychobabble about a wannabe transsexual who's compelled to slash up any attractive female who reminds him--the horror!--that he's still very much a man.

Angie Dickinson plays the sexually unsatisfied, fortysomething wife who's the killer's first target, relaying her sexual fantasies to her psychiatrist (Michael Caine) before actually living one of them out after the film's celebrated cat-and-mouse sequence in a Manhattan art museum. The focus then switches to a murder witness (De Palma's then-girlfriend Nancy Allen) and Dickinson's grieving whiz-kid son (Keith Gordon), who attempt to solve the murder while staying one step ahead (or so they think) of the crude detective (Dennis Franz) assigned to the case. Propelled by Pino Donaggio's lush and stimulating score, De Palma's visuals provide seductive counterpoint to his brashly candid dialogue, and the plot conceals its own implausibility with morbid thrills and intoxicating suspense. If you're not laughing at De Palma's shameless audacity, you're sure to be on the edge of your seat. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Michael CaineDoctor Robert Elliot
Angie DickinsonKate Miller
Nancy AllenLiz Blake
Keith GordonPeter Miller
Dennis FranzDetective Marion
David MarguilesDr. Levy
Ken BakerWarren Lockman
Susanna ClemmBetty Luce
Brandon MaggartCleveland Sam
Amalie CollierCleaning Woman
Mary DavenportWoman in Restaurant
Anneka Di LorenzoNurse (as Anneka De Lorenzo)
Norman EvansTed
Robbie L. McDermottMan in Shower
Bill RandolphChase Cabbie
Sean O'RinnMuseum Cabbie
Fred WeberMike Miller
Samm-Art WilliamsSubway Cop
Robert Lee RushHood #1
Anthony Boyd ScrivenHood #2
Robert McDuffieHood #3
Frederick SandersHood #4
William FinleyBobbi (voice) (uncredited)
Wendell Hauser(uncredited)
Erika KatzGirl in Elevator (uncredited)
Mark MargolisPatient at Bellvue Hospital (uncredited)
Lisa PelusoMuseum Girl (uncredited)
Jerry SchramBuilding Tenant (uncredited)

  • Genre: Mystery Movies
  • Director: Brian De Palma
  • Producer: MGM/UA
  • Length: 105 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJul 25, 1980
    EuropeDec 19, 1980
    JapanApr 4, 1981
    AustraliaOct 16, 1980
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe18
    AustraliaR
  • Blu-ray Release
    North AmericaSep 6, 2011
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMay 6, 2003
Buy Now $  Compare Prices
Dressed to Kill mini icon
0 / 10
Rate
(0.0640/d/web6)