Dressed to Kill1980
Dressed to Kill (1980)
Critic Consensus: With arresting visuals and an engrossingly lurid mystery, Dressed to Kill stylishly encapsulates writer-director Brian De Palma's signature strengths.
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as Doctor Robert Elliott
as Kate Miller
as Liz Blake
as Peter Miller
as Detective Marino
as Dr. Levy
as Warren Lockman
as Warren Lockman
as Cleveland Sam
as Mike Miller
as Museum Cabbie
as Chase Cabbie
as Woman in Coffee Shop
as Cleaning Woman
as Man in Shower
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Critic Reviews for Dressed to Kill
Dressed To Kill is a nail-biting, seat-squirming, stylish murder mystery with a brain.
Originality has never been a high value in the genre-bound aesthetic of filmmaking, but De Palma cheapens what he steals.
Despite some major structural weaknesses, the cannily manipulated combination of mystery, gore and kinky sex adds up to a slick commercial package.
Ultimately, the film amounts to little more than a consummate study of suspense technique, all dressed up with nowhere to go.
DePalma is not yet an artist of Hitchcock's stature, but he does earn the right to a comparison.
Audience Reviews for Dressed to Kill
Is restraint classy in and of itself? Writer/director DePalma's blatant steal from Hitchcock's 'Psycho' has the feel of a film student copying his hero, only without the restraints of his hero's time period, which, it could be argued, lent a modicum of subtlety to the proceedings (even if the conversation was about tawdry sex and murder). DePalma's copy says "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, let's get kinky!" You'll have to be the judge as to whether or not this version crosses the boundaries of your decency. What is here is watchable but has the feel of a frat party gone on too long for me, which some may still enjoy. Fans of the Master will guess the killer as soon as he's introduced.
Well executed thriller with horror and drama elements, Dressed to Kill is an engaging film with a good cast of actors and well thought out characters. I felt that the film was expertly directed by Brian De Palma who always seems to make some standout, taught, riveting pictures. Well, that is very much the case. Dressed to Kill is a well made movie, one that boasts an impressive story, which grabs your attention from start to finish. Fans of De Palma's work will surely enjoy this, and if you're looking for a tense, memorable thriller, Dressed to Kill is worth your time. While using a straight to the point approach to the way he tells history, De Palma manages to make a very good film, a film that succeeds at delivering thrills right from the moment it starts. As a thriller, Dressed to Kill is a fine example of one that gets it right, it steadily unfold before your eyes, an unravels its plot in a way that keeps you interested and add to that a great cast, and you have a film that is quite memorable in the long run. De Palma's work, I find is quite unique, and his style is mesmerizing and he has brought something quite worthwhile in the cinema. Dressed to Kill is among his best films, a well acted film that boasts some thrilling moments. The film is a genre classic, one that is a well crafted thriller and even with its weaker moments, still has enough good elements to make this a highly entertaining film.
For a director regarded as highbrow and artfully mainstream, Brian DePalma can certainly tap into the sleazy turpitude of human nature. The grabber is Angie Dickinson's full-frontal nudity in a shower which is shown in high-key, erotic lighting (although the body double belongs to Penthouse Pet Victoria Lynn Johnson). 'Dressed to Kill' is a decadent treat for fans of giallo horror (the killer-with-the-black-gloves cliché is intact). DePalma's craftsmanship is undeniable in tracking shots such as one spectacular example in a museum gallery where we follow Dickinson as she is stalked by an incognito man with her glove. A leaflet indicating that the one-night stand has a sexually transmitted disease is another harbinger of DePalma's perverse sensibilities. On the prerequisite "dark and stormy night", DePalma manipulates his erstwhile wife, Nancy Allen, into carnal bait for the unhinged serial killer and the tightrope anticipation nearly singes the screen into ashes. The transvestite twist in the denouement has been lambasted as a cheat (due to a series of taunting answering machine messages) but I found it to be delightfully loopy and a glowing tribute to the absurdist tendencies of DePalma's mentor, Alfred Hitchcock. A dream sequence somewhat disengages the enterprise, but overall, 'Dressed to Kill' is a kamikaze tour-de-force of kitchen-sink melodrama alongside slasher mainstays.
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