A Kiss Before Dying


Action / Crime / Film-Noir / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Robert Wagner Photo
Robert Wagner as Bud Corliss
Joanne Woodward Photo
Joanne Woodward as Dorothy Kingship
Mary Astor Photo
Mary Astor as Mrs. Corliss
Jeffrey Hunter Photo
Jeffrey Hunter as Gordon Grant
871.97 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by preppy-37 / 10

OK thriller

If you're looking for an adaptation of the Ira Levin book--this isn't it. Also the book would be impossible to film. That aside this is OK murder mystery-thriller. I was lucky enough to see it letter-boxed on TCM--it looks great! However a film dealing with a psycho and murders he commits does NOT need a theme song! Acting is OK--not good, not bad, just OK. The cast is attractive, the film is beautiful to look at and it's an interesting diversion for 1 1/2 hours. So, an OK thriller--nothing really inventive or different about it. At all costs, AVOID the terrible 1991 remake! That one is a TOTAL waste of time!

Reviewed by jotix1007 / 10

Afraid of heights

Ira Levin, an accomplished mystery writer, wrote the book in which this picture was based. The adaptation, by Lawrence Roman, works as a movie. Gerd Oswald, whose second movie this was, shows he wasn't up to the task of directing it. Perhaps with another director, a more satisfying film could have emerged.

If you haven't seen the movie, please stop reading here.

The film presents us a situation that was a classic dilemma for the times in which it was filmed: an unexpected pregnancy. It was a social issue that had more impact in those days than presently. This is a story of a young, naive coed that finds out to her horror, she is in the family way. The handsome boy that is responsible for it, goes into a state of panic, as he doesn't want any part of this situation.

The young woman is killed in front of our eyes, so there is no suspense in the fact, since we know who did it. The crime is exacerbated because the sister of the dead girl smells a rat in the way her sister, supposedly committed suicide. She starts digging into the past. The complicating factor is that Ellen, the kind sister has fallen for a hunk that hides from her the key for solving the crime.

The casting of the film was unusual in that Robert Wagner is cast as the evil Bud Corliss. Mr. Wagner with his good looks presents a facade of being what he is not. This duplicity makes us hate him. Virginia Leith, on the other hand, as the good sister, Ellen, is totally miscast. Perhaps another actress and a better direction would have made her more appealing. Joanne Woodward, as the doomed girl, makes a believable Dory. Jeffrey Hunter, as the man who discovers the mystery, makes a good impression.

Reviewed by bkoganbing6 / 10

A Charming Killer And Two Sisters

1956 marks the year Robert Wagner went over to the dark side. In The Mountain he plays Spencer Tracy's spoiled younger brother and in A Kiss Before Dying, Wagner is a charming, but quite ruthless young man looking to better himself through bedroom skills.

In fact impregnating Joanne Woodward might have done the trick in many cases. Normally they'd have gotten married and a reluctant father would have been happy just to protect his daughter's good name. However in Joanne's case and in her sister Virginia Leith's case, their father is puritanical George MacReady who long ago tossed their mom on the street because of an ancient indiscretion. Joanne knows full well that this could be her fate. Wagner knows if he's exposed as the dirty dog who knocked her up, MacReady will give him problems too.

So to extricate himself Wagner plans a quite deliberate murder of Woodward. When it happens Leith isn't convinced its suicide even with a cryptic note. But young police detective Jeffrey Hunter likes her anyway. The story begins when Leith begins her own investigation and Wagner starts courting Leith.

Robert Wagner shows his acting chops in this film. He was like that other contract player at 20th Century Fox Tyrone Power who kept pressing for roles to show what he could do as well. Both of course eventually got them. Joanne Woodward is a year away from her career breakthrough in The Three Faces Of Eve and she's sweet and tender as the naive kid in the clutches of a ruthless charmer. And George MacReady can be as evil as a puritan as well as the most diabolical of villains in which he's usually cast.

A Kiss Before Dying is not a bad film, but with someone like an Alfred Hitchcock directing it would have been great. As it is, it's entertaining, but falls short of being a classic.

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