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Dressed to Kill [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
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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

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOING UP? June 20 2004
DRESSED TO KILL is very much like "Psycho" in its opening segments. Here we meet the lovely Angie Dickinson who feeling sexually unsatisfied engages in a cat and mouse game with a stranger in a museum. She ends up having wild sex with him in a cab and then off to his apartment for an afternoon of fun. That fun turns sour however when she finds a doctor's report that is disturbing in itself, and then she forgets her wedding band and so after intending to leave, she goes back up and meets..well...it's just like Janet Leigh in Psycho. Your heroine is offed in the first thirty minutes. The killing scene in the elevator is extremely disturbing and brutal, and made even more so in the unrated version.
DePalma has often been accused or ripping off Hitchcock, but I don't think that's the case. Always using an imaginative twist as his fulcrum, DePalma gave us some really intense, chilling thrillers, heavy at times on sex and violence, but nonetheless, hypnotic and mesmerizing.
The cast performs adequately, although Caine seems a little disinterested and Dennis Franz plays his crude cop for the hundredth time. Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon are fine, but Angie really steals the film, even if only briefly. Without any dialogue, she shows how lonely and "hungry" she is while chasing this stud around the museum. And as with Leigh, one can't help but feel sorry for their untimely demise.
Not one of DePalma's best, but still a deserving thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unrated version Nov. 8 2007
By falcon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
i just finished watching Dressed to Kill,which is written and directed
by Brian De Palma.the DVD had both the"R" rated version and the unrated
version.i chose the unrated version.since i have yet to view the "R"
rated version,i can't be completely sure of the difference.there is
however a very graphic graphic female nudity including a scene of
explicit expression of self gratification in this version.i guess you
could call this scene soft core porn.if this sort of thing may offend
you,i would suggest you view the "R" rated version.but i digress.Any
comment from here on refers to the unrated version.this is a murder
mystery/ psychological horror/suspense movie.there is very little
violence and blood.there is however one death sequence of note.the act
of the killing itself is fairly graphic.however the blood it self does
not look real.it is reminiscent of how a 70's slasher film would look.i
believe this is done deliberately to offset the violence of the act
itself,to give the scene a low budget feel.most of the violence,or
rather possibility of such,is implied.the film is very well paced.as
far as i can tell every scene had a purpose,which i find very rare when
compared to many of today's films. anyway,i also thought the acting was
good,especially Angie Dickinson.and Micheal Cane turns in a quietly
understated performance in his role,which works brilliantly in this
case.the movie also has one great twist in it,in my mind,although some
people might find it predictable.the only complaint(and it's really
more of an observation)i have is that i thought the character played by
Nancy Allen could have been fleshed out more,especially considering she
has a fair amount of screen time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Glossy, meaningless, and occasionally scary July 13 2004
Brian de Palma knew his 1970s audience. When choosing what film to see at the cinema (if you had a choice in those days), it was difficult for many men to persuade their girlfriends to choose an out-and-out erotic movie. (The cinema scene in 'Carry On Camping' gives you some idea of the prevailing attitudes.) So, much like the Hammer movies, de Palma wrapped up the sex in a glossy horror thriller coating. Bizarrely, girls found it much easier to tell their mums that they'd be going to see 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' than 'Swedish Nurses Get Hot', or whatever.
But watching this movie with 25 years of hindsight, when people tend to be more open about sex, you have to wonder what was the point of this film, and what was an actor as good as Michael Caine doing in it. Angie Dickinson, another highly paid actress of the era, is also in it, but frankly her death is so badly acted that you could fairly say she deserved this film.
De Palma is a great user of that "Actually it was all a dream" device that we're warned to avoid in creative writing classes. So we get two dream sequences -- each with a central shower scene -- which are both flimsy excuses to get the clothes off his leading ladies (Dickinson and Nancy Allen). Despite the partial use of a body-double for Dickinson, these are attractive, gripping scenes, and probably the highlights of the movie.
The less said about the geekish son and the police detective, the better. Allen's redemption from NY hooker to sleep-alone companion (in chintz night attire!) to the son is also less than convincing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Under Dressed April 1 2004
Director Brian De Palma's early film career is noted for a series of thrillers, some of which are among my favorites in the genre. Dressed To Kill--while it's not his best--is solid enough and worth a look.
Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is a lonely wife bored with her life. After a visit with Dr. Elliot (Michael Caine), her psychiatrist, she follows his bold advice and seeks comfort in a stranger. After a seductive, dangerous encounter, Kate meets a shocking end. A prostitute named Liz, (Nancy Allen) who discovered Kate's body, finds herself teaming with the victim's son Peter (Keith Gordon) to track the killer. The pair thinks that the police, led by detective Marino (Dennis Franz), are not doing enough to look for the prime suspect, a blonde woman in a trenchcoat.
I've heard some people complain that all De Palma really does here is rip off the struture of a few of Hitchcock's better film's and paste them together. I don't think that's the film's main problem though. Certainly, one can't deny that he pays strong homage to "the master of suspense" in this and other films, he does it with a clear respect. The problem I have with Dressed, has to do with the fact that, the script's twists are easy to spot and or figure out. The acting is good enough. Things are so well stylized that you can't help but watch, and go along for the ride, despite any issues
The special edition DVD has both the controversial unrated and R-rated versions of the film on the disc. There's only about a 2 minute difference between the cuts. I applaud the powers that be for including both versions. The 45 minute documentary "The Making of a Thriller", along with three additional featurettes, give you a sense of what things were like behind the scenes.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
A good mystery which we had seen from several years ago. However, rather dated we felt but good suspense nonetheless.
Published 10 months ago by B.L. McIntyre
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary
This was a great movie that has a surprise ending. Very suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Published 11 months ago by Diane Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Dressed to Kill - Special Edition
Excellent thriller with unexpected ending. Video quality was good and the Audio quality very good, Very good value for the price. You will enjoy this one. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jean-paul N. Mertens
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my all time favorites!
One of my top ten favorite movies along with Carrie also by Depalma. i won't say too much about the story without giving too much away. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
I saw Dressed to Kill when I was a teenager and I think it is an interesting murder mystery that has a great cast that includes Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by Calinira
3.0 out of 5 stars Fool me once, fool me twice�
This is an obscure little film that is both a fraud and a gem. Dressed to Kill is a blatant imitation that rips everything from Hitchcock's Psycho, right down to the final last act... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by OverTheMoon
5.0 out of 5 stars The Latest Fashion...In Murder!
DRESSED TO KILL (1980) is definetly one of Brian De Palma's masterpieces (the other is CARRIE) for sure! Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by Daniel Kepley
5.0 out of 5 stars Bobbi is the perfect girl for the job: homicide.
Meet Bobbi. She's just the kind of woman who can get insanely jealous at the flick of a switch. And then she'll turn deadly. She's one of therapist Dr Elliot's clients. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Special Edition for a Great Film
A remarkable thriller that's as funny, nerve-wracking and exciting as ever. So beautifully crafted that I wish more thrillers were like this. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by The Magician
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