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A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

 -  Crime | Mystery | Romance  -  12 June 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,789 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 11 critic

A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

A Kiss Before Dying (1956) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Complete credited cast:
Bud Corliss
Gordon Grant
Virginia Leith ...
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


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Kiss Before Dying  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The picture was made and released about thirty-five years before the remake movie A Kiss Before Dying (1991) was made in 1990 and released in 1991. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in The Lying Game: A Kiss Before Lying (2013) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Cramped budget, fuzzy details, awkward acting
1 February 2004 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Young woman attempts to solve the mysterious death of her sister, which was ruled a suicide. Unfortunately, this is no delicious, Nancy Drew-styled mystery, for the sleuthing is done almost entirely off-screen, and the details we're privy to (like the fact her sister was wearing something old-new-borrowed-& blue when she died) are skimmed over second-hand. The main focus is on Robert Wagner's sociopath, but we don't get much background information on him. Director Gerd Oswald sets up a long sequence in a college chemistry supply lab which goes no place, skirting major plot-issues and personality points in the meantime. The script, based upon Ira Levin's far-fetched novel, eliminates an entire third sister and rushes along Levin's carefully-mounted scenario until it becomes nothing more than a summary of the book. The small town college landscape is vividly captured however, and Lucien Ballard's cinematography is rich (despite a slim budget). Later remade with Matt Dillon and Sean Young--whom Virginia Leith (here playing Ellen) eerily resembles! ** from ****

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Does the title sequence seem a tad light-hearted? br9young
Original so much better than the remake danskelle
I don't get it pebble1024
never noticed before ajprice-1
locations, locations, locations... mistercopacetic
Virginia Leith/Sean Young similarities usc_rick
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