A Kiss Before Dying

1956

Crime / Film-Noir / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 49%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 3377

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 28, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Director

Cast

Robert Wagner as Bud Corliss
Jeffrey Hunter as Gordon Grant
Joanne Woodward as Dorothy Kingship
George Macready as Leo Kingship
720p.BLU
871.97 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 3 / 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by twanurit 8 / 10

A Precursor to "Psycho"

This is a beautifully photographed, in CinemaScope and Deluxe Color, hauntingly scored, gripping thriller, with four lead actors who were, curiously, 20th Century Fox contract players, yet the film was released by United Artists. Robert Wagner gives the performance of a lifetime as the coolly handsome psychopathic college man residing with his mother (Mary Astor) and a plan for money, by dating an heiress (Joanne Woodward). In a framework similar to "Psycho" (1960), (and a mid-section foreshadowing "Vertigo" with its high building, a fall, and introducing another woman), a long prologue results in a ghastly demise. Woodward's savvy sister (Virginia Leith), with some help from a professor (Jeffrey Hunter) searches for a killer, almost gets done in herself in a suspenseful climax. "Psycho" similarities include a tracking-shot opening of two lovers distraught in bed, two sisters, two very handsome leading men, a mother, two murders. 1950s style icons (still quite retro today) are seen in startling abundance here: shiny red convertibles, college sweaters, slinky theme song, swoop skirts, the jukebox, poodle haircuts, greasy kids stuff hairstyles, etc. Woodward is wonderful and tragic as the first sister, Hunter offers able support, George MacCready is sturdy as the girls' father, while Astor, in a handful of scenes, conveys a true picture of a slightly slatternly, doting mother. The stunning Leith basically carries the last half of the picture and acquits herself well; she never really got her due in films, but is seen in the best advantage here. Also, this movie can be seen as a companion piece to the 1950s Italy set "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Chilling, very well-presented.

Reviewed by cryofry 8 / 10

Set the pace for modern thrillers

Set against the backdrop of the shiny 1950s, "A Kiss Before Dying" is a taunt thriller that can arguably be voted the predecessor of many modern thrillers.

When the film starts, it looks like a glamorous, teenybopper flick. The opening song compliments this heavily, as does the numerous logos and neon colours used in the opening credits. Thinking back on it now, I find it to be a very unusual, brilliant style of film-making that isn't seen very often. It tricks the viewer into something it is not. It is not a 1950s college comedy, but a relentless thriller with lots of unexpected twists and turns. I thought this movie was going to be tame, being a 1950s film and all, but I was pleasantly surprised in how raw the plot was in some places.

A young Robert Wagner portrays Bud Corliss, a darkly handsome college student with an obsessive taste for riches and fine dining. Bud is a trouble 25 year-old man who still lives at home with his aging widowed mother (Mary Astor). He feels unfulfilled in his life and a little uncertain about his future. Dorothy Kingship (Joanne Woodward), a girl with whom he is having a secret relationship with, may be the only glimmer of hope that will lift him up out of his bland, disappointing life. Dorothy's father is incredibly wealthy, and Bud knows this. However, Dorie falls pregnant and Bud is threatened with disinheritance and the inevitable prospect of working as a gas station attendant in order to pay the bills for his wife a baby. This is where the film really takes off and we get to see how dark, desperate and evil Bud really is.

Bud devises a plan: stage his girlfriends suicide. The plan seems simple enough and actually works in Bud's favour. He is free of Dorie and the prospect of disinheritance, and is now able to court Dorie's older sister, Ellen (Virginia Leith), who is totally oblivious of the fact that Bud is Dorie's old flame (and murderer). Enter rookie detective Gordon Grant (Jeffrey Hunter), an intelligent young man who questions the circumstances surrounding Dorie's death, as well as the integrity of Ellen's new lover, Bud. He just has to put the gruesome pieces together to solve the complex puzzle of deceit and murder.

I recommend this movie to fans of the thriller genre, as well as those who want to take a trip down memory lane. Great film with top performance by all. Kudos to Jeffrey Hunter.

Reviewed by princehal 8 / 10

Upscale Ed Wood?

Robert Wagner as a psychopathic killer, Jeffrey Hunter as a math teacher/cop, Joanne Woodward as a clinging dishrag, Virginia Leith as a sexy prospective victim and Mary Astor as a dowdy mom? It's so strange I began to wonder if it was some kind of demented masterpiece. It starts with perky titles promising a silly romantic comedy, then has a long dialogue scene between Bob and Joanne all in one take, a tumble by a pregnant woman that *doesn't* result in a miscarriage (surely a movie first), and indescribably odd moments like a sixtyish woman in a see-through blouse sashaying through an intense dialogue scene that pauses to honor her passing, and a postal clerk whose delicate cough serves as a Pinteresque interruption to an otherwise inconsequential line. It was Gerd Oswald's first movie and as far as I can tell he never did anything of note after-wards, but he might have been an Ed Wood buried under a studio budget. It's on DVD and should be seen in its original Cinemascope glory.

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