While taking a shower, Kate Miller, a middle-aged, sexually frustrated New York housewife, has a rape fantasy while her husband stands at the sink shaving. Later that day, after complaining to her psychiatrist Dr. Robert Elliott about her husbands pathetic performance in bed, she meets a strange man at a museum and returns to his apartment where they continue an adulterous encounter that began in the taxicab. Before she leaves his apartment, she finds papers which certify that the man has a venereal disease. Panicked, Kate rushes into the elevator, but has to return to his apartment when she realizes shes forgotten her wedding ring. When the elevator doors open, shes brutally slashed to death by a tall blonde woman wearing dark glasses. Liz Blake, a high-priced call girl, is the only witness to the murder and she becomes the prime suspect and the murderesss next target. Liz is rescued from being killed by Kates son Peter, who enlists the help of Liz to catch his mothers killer as Detective Marino whos in charge of the case is uncooperative in the investigation.
|Dressed to Kill Movie(HD 720)||Resolution: 1280x544 px||Total Size: 4468 Mb|
|Dressed to Kill Movie(iPod)||Resolution: 480x208 px||Total Size: 246 Mb||
|Dressed to Kill Movie(HD 1080)||Resolution: 1920x824 px||Total Size: 8125 Mb|
|Dressed to Kill Movie(HD)||Resolution: 852x368 px||Total Size: 421 Mb||
Dressed to Kill has all the styling of a great thriller. It holds amazingartistic direction, and there are breathtaking, I mean absolutely amazingscenes where there is no dialogue. These scenes when the music and actingruns everything, something few directors could achieve, at least on thislevel. And the story isn't too bad either. Where dies Dress to Kill lose? It's a painfully obvious rip-off of Psycho. Iknow DePalma is aware, I've read reviews. But this is nothing like Ithought. You could probably play them side by side and wonder why thiswasn't thought of as an updated version of Hitchcocks ground breaking film.Beside the hack ending that goes beyond Psycho, there are other reasons whyNOT to like this movie. The main one is the endless rip-off, it goes so faras to deal with the politics of film making. Hitchcock had to fight thecensors for the shower scene in Psycho, a nude woman in a shower is veryoffensive. What does DePalma do? DePalma (probably trying to egg on thecensors) has not only a naked woman but close up of certain parts. I'm notsaying this is bad, but it shows the massive amount of detail that was putinto the actual ripping-off of Psycho. Yes, if you've never seen Psycho or you have but you don't really payattention to detail, then yes Dressed to Kill is a really good film. In factfor most people this is probably a great movie. But if you're a buff, anendless fan of film as I am. A person who lives to escape into the worldstyles of writers and directors, then Dressed to Kill will not cut, in factit will only ANNOY it. Dressed to Kill in whole gets ** (out of ****)(5)
(**** out of *****)--Possible Spoilers--Maybe this is a bit classier than most slashers, but it still is, at heart,a slasher, so I've included it on my growing IMDB Slasher List. Borrowing alittle here and there from "Psycho" (most of De Palma's better movies borrowquite liberally from Hitchcock, in fact -- but he does it well, so morepower to him), this tells the story of a troubled nymphomaniac (AngieDickinson) who has a fling with a total stranger she meets in an art museumone afternoon and pays dearly for it when she runs into one of herpsychiatrist's homicidal, razor-wielding patients in a terrifying elevatorsequence. This is easily one of De Palma's best movies and is as sexuallyexplicit as it is graphically violent (maybe even more so). It also starsbusy actor Michael Caine as the enigmatic psychiatrist, De Palmathen-regular Dennis Franz as the wise-cracking cop on the case, Keith Gordon(from "Christine") as Dickinson's son and Nancy Allen as the high-price callgirl who helps him solve his mother's murder. Very erotic, verysuspenseful, and very scary -- a first-rate thriller.HIGHLIGHT: The extended, wordless sequence in the art museum that leads upto the violent elevator murder is beautifully directed and a highlight of DePalma's career.
First lets talk to see if this movie is right for thepeople reading this because you either love it or hate it. If you likemovies that are more mystery than horror then rush out and buy this onerightnow and don't hesitate. Forget about renting it becauseyou will watch it over and over and over again. Thereason for this is because DePalma(my favorite directorof all time) doesn't just play with your mind likeHitchcock did, he rapes it. There are several scenes inthis movie that Hitchcock would even of been proud of. The performances byall three main characters especiallyMichael Caine as a potential robot, he he you'll see, areall not great but fit just perfectly. What works most for the movie isthescenes. There are about four in it thatare just as thrilling as the train station scene in TheUntouchables. Most people say this movie is predictable,I say yes it is, but watching it unravel is the fun of it.
Along with Body Double, De Palma's definitive homage to his greatestinfluence, Hitchcock, an answer to PSYCHO, brilliantly tongue-in-cheekfrom the daft title to the answer of who the killer REALLY is, thedirector is at his very level best, crafting one incredible set pieceafter another. The contemporary theme of "gender politics" is utilizedbeautifully here and the whole idea of why the killer commits thegrisly razor blade murder(..and stalks a second victim, played by NancyAllen)is quite brilliantly executed. Unfortunately, like Hitchcock'smasterpiece PSYCHO, De Palma's "cat is out of the bag" and everyoneknows the identity of the killer. MAJOR SPOILERS Watching it for the first time in years, I grinned somany times at little sly moves conducted by De Palma in word and visualimage, setting up the twist at the end so wickedly. Such as how boredhouse-wife, Kate Miller(Angie Dickinson)discovers after her sexualencounter with a complete stranger that he has a venereal disease,rushing deliriously in panic from his room. It's a sly move because youare horrified at the fact that she harbors that "sin disease",believing this discovery will move throughout the rest of the film,only for her to meet her doom at the hands of a female with blond hair,black coat, and shades, slicing her with a glimmering razor blade. But,the way the tryst itself is executed was a wonder to behold. The way DePalma expresses on the side of the screen images of various items Katelost along the way, them returning to her mind(..glove in the artmuseum, panties in the taxi, wedding ring left in her lover's room),how she initiates contact with the potential exchange with the loverwithout saying a word, how she attempts to slightly fight away herdesire for the tryst, and her eventual terror for even instigating thefrivolous sexual encounter at all. The way the transsexual killer's identity is discovered is also onehell of a doozy. We watch as Kate's psychiatrist, Doctor RobertElliot(Michael Caine)listens to a feminine voice from his answeringmachine, a "client" on how she will be seeing another doctor, plans tohave a sex change, and admits to borrowing his razor, threateningsomething criminal. Elliot has this recording, must meet at the policestation with a hot-head, very disgruntled police detective, Marino(..DePalma regular, Dennis Franz, perfectly cast), and conceals heridentity..why does he do this when it's basically a confession? The exciting "race against time" angle, involving prostitute LizBlake(..the gorgeous Nancy Allen, in a role tailor made for her, whocharms in a winning performance, bringing an amazing likability to aprovocative character)who is told by Marino, in a very hostile way,that she is the chief suspect because of accidentally grabbing themurder weapon at the scene of the crime(..in the wrong place at thewrong time, she was at the elevator with a male client, who runs away,as the doors open to reveal Kate reaching out for help, the killerhiding). She has 48 hours to save her skin..to find evidence of themysterious female killer, Kate saw in a mirror(..cleverly establishedby De Palma), while also being hunted by the psycho herself. There's anamazing set piece where Liz is stalked by the killer to a subway whereshe also is confronted by a gang of thugs and is painted into a cornerwhen a police officer, a none-too-friendly exchange between these two,exits, leaving her to potentially fall prey to either one or the other.Her blossoming friendship to science wiz, Peter(..Keith Gordon, in arole he's often typecast, a brainy geek with some nifty inventions thatcome in handy along the way), the son of the slain Kate, is also amarvel of plot convention..together they are able to discover thekiller's identity in a thrilling climax as Liz infiltrates Elliot'soffice, disguising herself as a new client in need of counseling(..herattempted seduction produces a smoldering sexuality Allen easilyconveys)to retrieve a patient's name from his appointment book. I recognize that many will always consider De Palma nothing more than arip off artist with considerable skill, deftly able to use thecinematic toys at his disposal, but films like DRESSED TO KILL are soentertaining in their own right..it's the bravura way De Palma concoctshis ideas and unleashes the surprises in such a heavily stylized way,executed with marksman's precision, understanding how tocleverly/cunningly use gimmicks to tell developing stories. LikeHitchcock, De Palma uses visuals to communicate with the viewer, butunlike the master director, is able to incorporate seedier elements andenhance his films with the color/allure of more provocative charactersand settings(..such as New York City, and the people who live there).Like this cheeky title, De Palma perhaps used "BODY DOUBLE" as a jokeregarding his use of such a person in Dickinson's steamy shower scene.Two scenes rather bother me:(1)regarding the protracted explanation ofwhy the killer murdered and the psychological events that brought itabout(..obviously a direct homage to the similar sequence at the end ofPSYCHO)and (2)the nightmare sequence at the end..I felt neither isreally needed, although these are ways to engage the audience, givingthem extra when all is over, said, and done.
This is probably one of Brian De Palma's best known movies but it isn'this best. Body Double, The Fury and Carrie are better movies but thismovie is better than Blow Out and Obsession. De Palma is veryinfluenced by Hitchcock and this movie is a take off on Psycho. AngieDickinson is a bored housewife who is thinking of having an affair andafter her psychiatrist, played by Michael Caine, turns down an offer,Dickinson meets a man in a art gallery and she winds up sleeping withhim. After this point it's best you don't know what happens but thereis a murder and Nancy Allen is a call girl who gets a look at thekiller. Dennis Franz is the detective on the case who really doesn'ttrust Allen and she has to find the killer herself. It's a pretty goodmovie but isn't one of De Palma's best.
"Dressed to Kill" has been more or less forgotten in critical circles inthepast 20 years, but it is a true American classic, a film which is muchmorethan just a glossy thriller.I sincerely hope the DVD release will give more people the chance tohearabout it and see it.
Overrated De Palma, one of the best posters in the history of movies, though
I feel a bit strange giving Dressed to Kill a 5 out of 10 vote, becausethere is plenty of brilliance found within the film, particularly thedirection and style (not a surprise since it's DePalma), and there are agreat deal of moments in it which are spectacular, like the scene whereAngie Dickinson wanders about the art gallery in search of love. Buthonestly, I didn't find the story to be all that intriguing and never reallyfelt like I cared for the characters. Plus, I personally didn't think therewere many surprises in the film. Based on DePalma's endless Hitchcockhomages, I had a lot of the surprises figured out long before they wererevealed. Don't get me wrong. I love DePalma films and think he does some ofthe coolest homages, especially the Battleship Potemkin moment in TheUntouchables. I just didn't think this was one of his better films, thoughit was definitely worth watching and there were plenty of great moments init. I might even watch it again eventually to revisit some of the scenes init, and hey, maybe I'd even get DePalma's intent by viewing it a secondtime. Upon first viewing, I just don't feel Dressed to Kill amounted to muchas a whole.
This film is one of the one highlights of Brian De Palma's career. I'drather not single out any particular effort by him however. Hecontinued to re-invent suspense, and satire through the 70's and 80'sso Its nearly impossible to pick one film that exceeds the other.This one is a very traditional thriller in the vein of Hitchcock.However in some ways it surpasses Hitchcock. The editing in this filmis unbelievably well timed, and crafted. Jerry Greenberg is one of thebest of all time. The famous museum scene challenges you to see thisfilm as a visual journey rather than a dialog driven one. AngieDickinson's performance is very competent, and Michael Caine is superb.This is one movie that kept me guessing all the way to the end. DePalma's ability to trick the audience is one of the reasons this filmworks. 9/10
This is without a doubt my favorite De Palma film (and one of myfavorite films, period). It's been said this film is total style oversubstance, which may be true, but that doesn't detract from howoutrageously entertaining it is. The story concerns a young computernerd (Keith Gordon), a prostitute (Nancy Allen) and a cop (DennisFarina) all searching for the identity of a mad transvestite slasher inManhattan. Really the plot, as involving as it is, is really just anexcuse to hang a number of truly impressive cinematic sequences; myfavorite consists of several tracking shots depicting the flirtationand subsequent misunderstandings of one of the (female) main charactersand a stranger she sees in a museum. There are just so many elementsthat are like candy to me: the fun "Nancy Drew" quality of the jadedprostitute and the nerd teaming up to solve the mystery, the humorouslyantagonistic relationship between the cop and the prostitute, theterrific suspense set pieces and just the overall trashy quality of it.An absolute must-see!
I have only seen 3 and own 2 of De Palma's movies. I have seen Blow Out,Carrie, and Dressed to Kill. This is my second favorite movie that hedirected, my favorite is Carrie. This stars Michael Caine, Angie Dickenson,Nancy Allen, and Keith Gordon. plot: Kate Miller (Angie Dickenson) is addicted to sex. She goes topsychiatrist Dr. Robert Elliot (Michael Cain). Alittle later into the movieshe is murdered by a woman (or man) who goes by the name of Bobbi, a hookernamed Liz Blake (Nancy Allen) sees it all happen. Dr. Elliot gets a messagefrom an old patient of his, he is a man who wants to be a woman, and thatpatient is Bobbi, Bobbi says that he stole Dr. Elliot's razor and used it tokill Kate, and he is now going after Liz. But with the help of Kate's son(Keith Gordon), Liz is going to try to find out who Bobbi reallyis.People say this is a ripoff of Psycho, I like this but its not better thenPsycho because Psycho is my favorite horror movie of all time. But if youliked Psycho or if you are a fan of Brian De Palma, or if you just want tosee a good slasher/mystery film, rent or buy Dressed toKill.
I first saw this film at the cinema when it was first released and havingjust seen it again on TV 20 years later, I had forgotten what a powerfulandgreat piece of film making this was. From the opening scene panning roundthe house to the shower with that great haunting music is fantastic andthewhole of that now 'infamous' shower scene with Angie Dickinson is puremagic. The film's next great point is what i consider to be one of thebestpieces of filmmaking ever - the museum. No dialogue, some music, greatcamera work and excellent acting from Angie Dickinson without even sayingone line. This scene is so clever, it has you on the edge of your seat,willing her to make contact with the mysterious stranger. SPOILERS AHEAD -Then Brian de Palma does something to his audience which quite franklyblewmy socks off - he kills off the main character one third into the film. Imust admit, watching this again I was taken aback that Angie Dickinson waswritten out so early, but now realise that this was a master stoke as itistotally unexpected and has more impact than say a stranger gettingmurderedearly on in the film. With Ms Dickinson gone, it's up to Nancy Allen totakeover the main female lead. A great actress she is not - but does her bestwith the script she is given. The film starts to race away with itstwist'sand turns and when the finale comes and the killer is revealed, we arethentreated to one last truly shocking scene. Thoughts of my cinema visit cameflooding back with that one last shocker. I would like to point out thatinresponse to so many other comments on this site, I did not for one momentthink that this film was a ripoff of Psycho or in fact any other Hitchcockfilm - you could say that about any slasher thriller. I still think thatthis film was gravely underated when it was released and can only hopethatnow (especially with the DVD release) that this will now be seen andappreciated as one of the great films of the early 80's.
I just watched "Dressed to Kill" on Netflix. I have to say I reallyliked the movie a lot. I was surprised because Brian De Palma's moviestend to be hit or miss for me. If you like suspenseful movies, there's no reason for you not to like"Dressed to Kill". It might come off as a little bit of a "Psycho"ripoff at times, but since I've heard De Palma was a big fan ofHitchcock, I think any similarities are intentional and in homage toHitchcock rather than trying to rip him off.I only had one minor complaint about the movie, I feel like they REALLYwent into detail at the end to make sure you knew what happened, whichwas OK, but I feel like they didn't have to explain it as thoroughly asthey did. It's almost like the filmmakers were afraid the audiencewouldn't pick up on what was going on, or if they did, were afraid theywouldn't understand why what happened did happen.I think had they had a little bit more faith in the audience's abilityto understand what was going on it would've been just a bit better, butlike I said it's a minor complaint.I give it an eight out of ten! Check it out! It's worth seeing if onlyto check out sexy looking Nancy Allen!
spoilersWhat can you say about a movie when the best thing about it is AngieDickinson? Or that the movie starts and ends with dream sequences of awomantaking a shower and getting killed? This is another De Palma cheesefest,filled with sexism, split-screens, Pino Donaggio music and "deviant"behavior like transsexuality. DRESSED TO KILL is filled with SO manycontrived moments that it almost becomes deliriously funny. Here are acouple of examples:After Angie has sex with the man at his apartment, she finds out that hehassome sort of venereal disease. Shock! But the thing is, when was thisdoctor's report made? 6 months ago? 12 months ago? In other words, thefilmmakes a big point to show something like this and yet forgoes all otheraspects about this "shocking" revelation that divorces it from reality.Theman might have already been cured for all we know. Making a big fuss overthings that might be explained a bit more rationally only makes DTK looksilly. Yes, I know that it's all about Angie's feelings of guilt but thewayit's handle in DTK still makes me laugh.And when Angie is in the elevator and realizes she left her wedding ringatthe man's apartment she goes back to the seventh floor only to face thekiller there who subsequently slashes her to death. First, how did thekiller know that Angie would return to the seventh floor? Second, how didthe killer anticipate that Angie would be alone in the elevator? Third, ifthe killer bothers to murder Angie in the elevator, why doesn't the killerstop the elevator on the seventh floor or in between floors? This wouldhaveprevented the elevator from going up or down to other floors where peopleare waiting patiently and who would be witnesses to themurder.There are numerous other silly details, like the kid playing Hardy Boysandcreating a camera that takes time-lapsed still shots of the doctor'soffice,or the whole pointless split-screen moment, when we see, on the left sideofthe screen, Michael Cain listening to disturbing messages and watchingdocumentaries on transsexuals, and on the right, we see a big tall womanstalking Nancy Allen. The whole "coincidence" of having not one but twobigtall women stalking Nancy is ridiculous. Those scenes are only there topadthe movie's length. And to make things even more deliriously silly, DePalmashamelessly channels Hitchcock, which gives another layer of unintentionalweirdness to it all.Even with all it's flashy camerawork and violence, DRESSED TO KILL issurprisingly low key. At times, it looks and feels like a low budget film.There are just a couple of set pieces. And there are only a couple ofcharacters. The film feels small. And like every Brian De Palma films (hisbig or low budget ones), there is one great scene that stands out, thisonebeing the entire museum scene, but then everything else falls apart fastsoon afterwards. DRESSED TO KILL peaks very early and there's simplynothinginteresting that happens after the elevator scene. Michael Caine, straightfrom two disaster epics (THE SWARM and BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, bothbombed massively), sleepwalks through his role. Nancy Allen is sexy in asassy and street-smart way but I felt at times that she didn't care muchforthe whole thing. That she was above this kind of film. And the guy whoplayed the kid was okay but I never liked his role. He doesn't seem tobelong in this type of film. In the end, Angie's character is the only onein the movie who seemed to have a semblance of depth. It's not much butseems to be much when compared to the cardboard characters populating thefilm. It's one of Angie's best performances. And as for the dreamsequences,they're totally gratuitous. One was enough. I don't see the reason forbook-ending the film with two similar dream sequences. They're contriveandjust a tad tasteless, to say the least, certainly the one with Angie'sbodydouble. The second dream sequence reinforces the fact that De Palma didn'thave a good script and didn't know where or how to end the movie. I mean,there are three endings in DTK.In closing, I have to admit that the first time I saw DTK, I HATED it! Butnow having been a fan of the giallo genre for many years now, whichDRESSEDTO KILL was obviously inspired by, I can now finally put DTK in some sortofcontext (other than a cheap Hitchcock rip-off) and see it for what it is(orfor what it tried to be): it's a definite mixture of gialli and Hitchcockfilms. As mildly amusing as DTK is, I can't help but wonder if De PalmaandDario Argento weren't competing with each other back in the 1970s andearly1980s, continuously trying to top each other with these giallos, or gorythrillers. Of the two filmmakers, I prefer Dario films made beforePHENOMENA. TENEBRE seems to be Dario's answer to DTK and as uneven asTENEBRE is, it is more rewarding than DRESSED TO KILL. At least TENEBREhasa real transsexual. LOL!
Few people have a lukewarm opinion of Brian De Palma's films. Hispublic usually divides between adulation that ranks De Palma with thelikes of Alfred Hitchcock and repulsion that tags him as a derivative,misogynistic hack. When emotions are running this high, every film putout by such a director will be hot to handle and 'Dressed to Kill,' a1980 thriller using De Palma's own screenplay, is no exception.'Dressed to Kill' is a film that borrows from earlier sources, mostobviously Hitchcock's 'Psycho' and Dario Argento's 'The Bird with theCrystal Plumage.' What raises 'Dressed' above knock-off status,however, is the means by which De Palma uses clichÃ© to explore otherpossibilities. The film may be derivative, but it's not a plain carboncopy; De Palma, with his American viewpoint and tongue-in-cheek style,puts bizarre spins on old ideas and joins together a superb piece ofexploitation cinema.De Palma's screenplay uses a plot line modeled after 'Psycho' thattracks the activities of one woman before splintering off into numerouscharacters who are given equal weight. The woman in this case is KateMiller, a suburban New York housewife played by Angie Dickinson. In thefilm's opening scenes, it becomes clear that Kate is trapped in anunsatisfying relationship with her second husband; we witness animaginary sequence in which Kate is taken hold by a strange man in hershower, followed by her faking of an orgasm during a real (and quick)meeting in bed.Afterwards, Kate visits Manhattan psychiatrist Robert Elliott (MichaelCaine) and expresses her urge to have an affair. Kate then enters theMetropolitan Museum of Art to have lunch with her mother-in-law,instead picking up a male patron (Ken Baker) for an afternoon fling inunconventional places. Suffice it to say that Kate's fling has direconsequences and brings prostitute Liz Blake (Nancy Allen, GoldenGlobe-nominated), Kate's teenage son Peter (Keith Gordon, eyeglassesand hair predating Harry Potter by two decades), and New York Citydetective Marino (Dennis Franz) into a twisted murder investigation.While elements of Hitchcock are present, 'Dressed to Kill' actuallyfeels closer to the Italian giallo and, indeed, comparisons have beenmade. Part of what gives Italian thrillers charm (Ã¡ la Argento andMario Bava) is how one film puts customized 'touches' on material usedin another. 'Dressed to Kill,' while American, operates in similarways; Kate Miller, for example, dies in a Psycho-like manner andcomposer Pino Donaggio's scoring of her death is modeled after BernardHerrmann. We all want originality in film, but it's also difficult torevitalize old ideas, which De Palma achieves repeatedly. To rank DePalma with Hitchcock may be stretching matters, but he is certainly adirector with vision and a distinct style.'Dressed to Kill' would fail totally if not for the strong performanceof Angie Dickinson. Dickinson is the center of attention for an entirehalf-hour and she generates more than enough sympathy to care aboutwhat is happening on screen. She is particularly impressive duringmoments of facial expression and no dialogue, which are moments when DePalma is at his unquestionable best. Michael Caine is the outstandingmale lead, playing a seedy role with focus and intensity. Also watchfor Dennis Franz's police shtick that carried over to 'Hill StreetBlues' and 'NYPD Blue.' Nancy Allen, who was nominated for a GoldenGlobe and Razzie in the same year (?), gives a strong effort and isquite likable; I just wish her delivery were a little more forceful.The strongest technical element of this film is Pino Donaggio's music.Donaggio's score is breathtaking and one of the few I've heard that canbe judged as a self-contained work of art. The music is at timessweepingly romantic, at other times frantic through its chromaticismand impassioned triplets. 'Dressed to Kill' was nicely photographed byRalf Bode ('Saturday Night Fever,' 'Gorky Park') and Oscar-winningeditor Jerry Greenberg ('The French Connection,' 'Apocalypse Now')constructed the film to maximum dramatic effect.While 'Dressed to Kill' has its share of lovers and detractors, MGMHome Entertainment seems to view the film with unusually strong regard.In 2001, MGM released a 'special edition' DVD that no fan of the moviecan be without. The film is given widescreen presentation (2.35:1aspect ratio) with a choice of enhanced Dolby 5.1 English audio, theoriginal English mono track, and French 'dubbing;' subtitles areprovided in French and Spanish. Edited before its U.S. release to avoidan 'X' rating from the MPAA, Dressed to Kill's disc supplies both thetheatrical and uncut versions for comparison. Extras include a45-minute documentary on the film's production; a featurette comparingthe uncut, R-rated, and network television versions; a featurette onthe censorship and negative reaction faced by De Palma; a photo galleryusing Donaggio's music; a gallery of advertising materials; and thetheatrical trailer.The film's visuals are generally okay, with strong, distinguishablecolors. I am not a fan of audio enhancements when the original trackwas in mono; for 'Dressed to Kill,' I went straight to its mono optionbecause I wanted to hear the film as it sounded in 1980. For somereason, the film has not been restored completely. There is frequentgrain, occasional print damage, and noticeable debris such as hair. Theextras, however, make up for these problems. De Palma, his crew, andhis cast (without Michael Caine) discuss their experiences, includingthe director's unpleasant situation with the MPAA and feminist groups.It's disappointing not to hear from Michael Caine, but the disc is inneed of little else. Filmways Pictures was heading into extinction bythe time 'Dressed to Kill' hit cinema screens, but survived long enoughto bring De Palma's cult classic into the world.*** Â½ out of 4Roving Reviewer - www.geocities.com/paul_johnr
spoilersWhat can you say about a movie when the best thing about it is AngieDickinson? Or that the movie starts and ends with dream sequences of awoman taking a shower and getting killed? This is another De Palmacheesefest, filled with sexism, split-screens, Pino Donaggio music and"deviant" behavior like transvestites/transsexuality. DRESSED TO KILLis filled with SO many contrived moments that it almost becomesdeliriously funny. Here are a couple of examples:After Angie has sex with the man at his apartment, she finds out thathe has some sort of venereal disease. Shock! But the thing is, when wasthis doctor's report made? 6 months ago? 12 months ago? In other words,the film makes a big point to show something like this and yet forgoesall other aspects about this "shocking" revelation that divorces itfrom reality. The man might have already been cured for all we know.Making a big fuss over things that might be explained a bit morerationally only makes DTK look silly and overwrought. Yes, I know thatit's all about Angie's feelings of guilt but the way it's handle in DTKstill makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons.And when Angie is in the elevator and realizes she left her weddingring at the man's apartment she goes back to the seventh floor only toface the killer there who subsequently slashes her to death. First, howdid the killer know that Angie would return to the seventh floor?Second, how did the killer anticipate that Angie would be alone in theelevator? Third, if the killer bothers to murder Angie in the elevator,why doesn't the killer stop the elevator on the seventh floor or inbetween floors? This would have prevented the elevator from going up ordown to other floors where people are waiting patiently and who wouldbe witnesses to the murder. Massive and inexcusable plot-hole.There are numerous other silly details, like the kid playing Hardy Boysand creating a camera that takes time-lapsed still shots of thedoctor's office, or the whole pointless split-screen moment, when wesee, on the left side of the screen, Michael Caine listening todisturbing messages and watching documentaries on transsexuals, and onthe right, we see a big tall woman stalking Nancy Allen. The whole"coincidence" of having not one but two big tall women stalking Nancyis ridiculous. Those scenes are only there to pad the movie's length.They are pointless. And to make things even more deliriously silly, DePalma shamelessly channels Hitchcock, which gives another layer ofunintentional weirdness/awfulness to it all.Even with all it's flashy camera-work and violence, DRESSED TO KILL issurprisingly low key. At times, it looks and feels like a low budgetfilm. There are just a couple of set pieces. And there are only acouple of characters. The film feels small. And like every Brian DePalma films (his big or low budget ones), there is one great scene thatstands out, this one being the entire museum scene, but then everythingelse falls apart fast soon afterwards. DRESSED TO KILL peaks very earlyand there's simply nothing interesting that happens after the elevatorscene. Michael Caine, straight from two disaster epics (THE SWARM andBEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, both bombed massively), sleepwalksthrough his role. Nancy Allen is sexy in a sassy and street-smart waybut I felt at times that she didn't care much for the whole thing. Thatshe was above this kind of film. And the guy who played the kid wasokay but I never liked his role. He doesn't seem to belong in this typeof film. In the end, Angie's character is the only one in the movie whoseemed to have a semblance of depth. It's not much but seems to be muchwhen compared to the cardboard characters populating the film. It's oneof Angie's best performances. And as for the dream sequences, they'retotally gratuitous. One was enough. I don't see the reason forbook-ending the film with two similar dream sequences. They're contriveand just a tad tasteless, to say the least, certainly the one withAngie's body double. The second dream sequence reinforces the fact thatDe Palma didn't have a good script and didn't know where or how to endthe movie. I mean, there are three endings in DTK.In closing, I have to admit that the first time I saw DTK, I HATED it!I still do BUT now having been a fan of the giallo genre for many yearsnow, which DRESSED TO KILL was obviously inspired by it, I can nowfinally put DTK in some sort of context (other than a cheap Hitchcockrip-off) and see it for what it is (or for what it tried to be): it's adefinite mixture of gialli and Hitchcock films. As mildly amusing asDTK is, I can't help but wonder if De Palma and Dario Argento weren'tcompeting with each other back in the 1970s and early 1980s,continuously trying to top each other with these giallos, or gorythrillers. Of the two filmmakers, I prefer Dario films made beforePHENOMENA. TENEBRE seems to be Dario's answer to DTK and as uneven asTENEBRE is, it is more rewarding than DRESSED TO KILL. At least TENEBREhas a real transsexual. LOL!
"Dressed to Kill" is an intense, dreamy, erotically charged thriller,and clearly another of filmmaker Brian De Palma's homages to the worksof Alfred Hitchcock. It manages the neat trick of being fairly classyand rather trashy at the same time, as De Palma brings all of hisdirecting skill to bear. This may not be his best but it's certainlyone of his most well known, thanks in no small part to the excellentstar trio of Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, and Nancy Allen; Allen, ofcourse, was married to De Palma at the time. Caine plays an eminentpsychiatrist, Dr. Robert Elliott, and Dickinson portrays Kate Miller,one of his patients who's not getting any sexual fulfillment in herlife. Unfortunately, once she is able to experience an afternoon ofpassion the satisfaction is short lived, as a tall, cold looking blondewoman in sunglasses and trenchcoat slashes her to death with a straightrazor. (This has to rank as one of the scariest ever elevator ridescaptured on film.) A witness on the scene is high priced call girl LizBlake (Allen), who's accused of the crime after stupidly picking up themurder weapon. So she ends up working with Kate's son Peter (KeithGordon) to try to identify the woman, who Liz and Peter guess to beanother of Elliott's patients. In the opening minutes of his film DePalma shows you what you're going to be in for, showing Dickinsonpleasuring herself in the shower (intercutting shots of Dickinson withthose of a body double) until a male stranger materializes behinds herand starts forcing himself on her. The combination of sex and danger isalways stressed in this movie; as we will learn our killer has somesevere psycho sexual problems. There are some highly memorablesequences, such as an extended seduction taking place inside an artmuseum, that being followed by a steamy coupling in the back of a cab.Other aspects that make it effective are Jerry Greenberg's editing(this was the man that cut "The French Connection", after all), RalfBode's widescreen cinematography, and Pino Donaggio's haunting music.The actors each get an impressive showcase; both Dickinson and Allenlook amazing to boot. Included in the cast are Dennis Franz as theinvestigating detective, David Margulies as the psychiatrist whoexplains everything for us in the end in case we didn't already get it,William Finley who does some uncredited voice work, and Brandon Maggartin a brief bit as a john.Overall, the film has a definite ability toget under one's skin. It's often genuinely spooky and could easilyshock more sensitive viewers due to the level of sexual frankness ondisplay. While subtlety may be in short supply, it's hard to deny theability of "Dressed to Kill" to manipulate us into a state ofexcitement and expectation. Eight out of 10.
If I didn't know better, I'd say Brian de Palma was thinking one of twothings when he made Dressed to Kill. Either he had a high opinion ofHitchcock, or a high opinion of himself. I'm drawn to think it is thelatter, because Dressed to Kill is a pretty blatant Psycho rip-off.Anything Hitchcock can do I can do better, is what must've been on dePalma's mind, well maybe not better but equally well. The result is amildly entertaining psychological thriller, sporadically intriguing andsuspenseful but with mediocre acting, and a poorly executed climax.Kate Miller (a middle aged New York housewife) has a one night standwith a stranger she meets in an art gallery. As she leaves hisapartment, a woman in black leather hacks her to pieces with a razor.The only witness is a local prostitute who has just finished with aclient on the same apartment floor. The police make her a suspect, andshe is given only a few hours to get the proof that she claim she has.She teams up with Miller's teenage, science geek son to do a littlesurveillance and spying, on Miller's shrink who may know somethingabout the killer that he has not told yet.It wasn't until the climax when I realized that this film is painfullyclose to the story line of Psycho. Up till then I was enjoying myself,and despite the feeble characterization, I found myself sympathetic,perhaps even more so than toward Psycho. After all, how can one nothave empathy for a boy whose father is a Vietnam casualty and has losthis mother to cold blooded murder, or to a prostitute, who is aperfectly nice human being who just happened to be in the wrong placeat the wrong time. Dressed to Kill is resolved with a sloppily written climactic scene,which is a classic example of Deus ex machina. And if that isn't enoughthe film adds one last sequence for gratuitous suspense, and is clearlya feeble attempt of de Palma to avoid a conventional ending. Dressed to Kill is not much of a movie, but I've seen worse. If you arenot a tough critic it may worth a peek if it is on TV at a convenienthour for you.
I am a big fan of Sir Michael Caine's work and I find Angie Dickinson veryattractive (well the younger version of Angie Dickinson), not to mentionI'mnot the type to pass up the chance of seeing a slasher movie. I thoughtthismovie would be great so I ran out to the video store the second I heardabout it, but needless to say, I was gravely disappointed in the film. AsIwas watching the movie I kept getting the feeling that I had seen itbefore.I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was such a familiarity to thefilm. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had seen this moviebefore, but when I saw it first, it was in black and white, directed byHitchcock and starred an actor named Anthony Perkins, oh yeah and thefilmsname was 'Psycho'. The whole premise for 'Dressed To Kill' was extremelyoverused and unoriginal. Some scenes were slightly riveting but for themostpart the movie was so predictable that it was hard to take in the suspensethat the director tried to achieve. I wasn't anything less then nauseatedduring the shower scene with Angie Dickinson. I might have enjoyed it moreif she was about 20 years younger. I can't bash the film entirely becauseIdid enjoy some of it, such as the character of the detective played byDennis Franz and also the part of the hooker played by Nancy Allen (Ididn'tmind seeing her in the shower). The cinematography was superb but it ishardto take in because of the extreme boredom brought forward by the lagging,predictable story line. See this movie only if you are looking for abloodier version of 'Psycho'. Don't waste the $2.00 renting it, just waitfor it to come on T.V.
This is the foundation for movies like Basic Instinct made over a decadebefore, it stands as a very well thought out, photographed, and actedfilm.I own the unrated MGM DVD and I can say it is well worth it. The movie isabout discovering the identity of a serial killer who is viciously slayingpeople. Nancy Allen stars in one of her few good movies, the others beingRobocop and Carrie. This movie is definitely not for the squemish orthoseoffended by sex and nudity, while the violence are by today's not tographic, the sexual scenes are still very strong at least in the unratedversion they are.Unrated: some graphic violence, very strong sexuality and relateddialogue,and for language.