Dressed to Kill [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Brian De Palma's classic chiller that will still make your hair stand on end !Published 13 months ago by W McMaster
A good mystery which we had seen from several years ago. However, rather dated we felt but good suspense nonetheless.Published on Dec 21 2013 by B.L. McIntyre
This was a great movie that has a surprise ending. Very suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of your seat.Published on Nov. 10 2013 by Diane Edwards
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 morePublished on May 22 2013 by Jean-paul N. Mertens
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 morePublished on May 8 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
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 morePublished on Feb. 7 2004 by Calinira