6.8/10
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A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 12 June 1956 (USA)
A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bud Corliss
...
Gordon Grant
...
Ellen Kingship
...
Dorothy ('Dorie') Kingship
...
Mrs. Corliss
...
Leo Kingship
...
Dwight Powell
Howard Petrie ...
Howard Chesser, Chief of Police
Bill Walker ...
Bill, the Butler
Molly McCart ...
Annabelle Koch
Marlene Felton ...
Medical Student
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Storyline

Student Bud Corliss is wooing Dorother Kingship purely for her father's mining fortune. When he finds she is pregnant he realises she is likely to be disinherited, so cleverly stages her suicide. After a couple of months her sister back home finds evidence to question the suicide verdict, but by then has a new boyfriend of her own... Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor, Prelúdio de Morte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)| (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie was filmed in Tucson Ariz and the surrounding area including the copper mine south of town. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, where Dorie is crying on the bed, Bud goes over and turns on a small lamp on the dresser. The bright light streaming through the blinds in the window behind, spilling on to the far wall disappears - not instantly or all at once, but more slowly from right to left and finally in the window itself, as if a "barn door" or other shutter system was being closed on a light offstage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bud Corliss: Crying isn't going to help.
Dorothy Kingship: I just can't help it.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Baazigar (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kiss Before Dying
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Carroll Coates
Sung by Dolores Hawkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Authentic Look at a Popular 1950's Location
12 July 2003 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

True, the story line is a bit noir for a Technicolor Cinemascope production, but when one realizes that Tucson was at the time a popular and inexpensive location for John Wayne films and the musical Oklahoma! also in glorious color under the blazing Arizona sun, it begins to make sense -- at least in terms of getting out of nearby California where the visible smog at the time was far greater than it is even today.

I saw several of the exterior scenes of this film being made, and wondered whether the final cut would amount to much of anything. Robert Wagner seemed very young for the part, and almost frighteningly thin in stature. Moreover, his acting ability had not yet developed to the extent of that displayed by his contemporary Joanne Woodward. But it was obvious to all that the production itself and the supporting cast were professional to the core.

Author Ira Levin was very popular at the time, something of the sort of writer one reads today in Robin Cook, Jonathan Kellerman, Stuart Woods, etc. In other words, not really a Raymond Chandler or even a Michael Connelly. That explains why so many recent viewers seem able to catch the adumbrations in the film early on. Potboilers lack the complexity of truly great detective fiction because the characters are stock heroes and heavys.

The view looking down from the top of the old 12-story Valley National Bank building (portrayed in the film as the city hall), even though insignificant by today's height standards, is just as scary as it was then. Many of the other locations like the resort portrayed as a grand estate have been transformed or have simply disappeared. And those really cool "rides" are now languishing in automobile museums.


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Does the title sequence seem a tad light-hearted? br9young
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