IMDb > Dressed to Kill (1980)
Dressed to Kill
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Dressed to Kill (1980) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 31 | slideshow) Videos (see all 8)
Dressed to Kill -- Clip: The Attack
Dressed to Kill -- Clip: Elevator Ride
Dressed to Kill -- Clip: I Shouldn't Have Been So Rude
Dressed to Kill -- A group of thugs chase Liz from one cabin to the next while riding the metro.
Dressed to Kill -- Liz confesses to doctor Robert that she's a hooker.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   18,999 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Brian De Palma (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Dressed to Kill on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 July 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Latest Fashion In Murder See more »
Plot:
A mysterious, tall blonde woman murders one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high class call girl who witnessed the murder. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Worth viewing, but it hasn't aged well See more (180 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Caine ... Doctor Robert Elliott

Angie Dickinson ... Kate Miller

Nancy Allen ... Liz Blake

Keith Gordon ... Peter Miller

Dennis Franz ... Detective Marino

David Margulies ... Dr. Levy
Ken Baker ... Warren Lockman
Susanna Clemm ... Betty Luce
Brandon Maggart ... Cleveland Sam
Amalie Collier ... Cleaning Woman
Mary Davenport ... Woman in Restaurant
Anneka Di Lorenzo ... Nurse (as Anneka De Lorenzo)
Norman Evans ... Ted
Robbie L. McDermott ... Man in Shower
Bill Randolph ... Chase Cabbie
Sean O'Rinn ... Museum Cabbie
Fred Weber ... Mike Miller
Samm-Art Williams ... Subway Cop
Robert Lee Rush ... Hood #1
Anthony Boyd Scriven ... Hood #2
Robert McDuffie ... Hood #3
Frederick Sanders ... Hood #4
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

William Finley ... Bobbi (voice) (uncredited)
Wendell Hauser ... (uncredited)
Erika Katz ... Girl in Elevator (uncredited)

Mark Margolis ... Patient at Bellvue Hospital (uncredited)
Lisa Peluso ... Museum Girl (uncredited)

Jerry Schram ... Building Tenant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Brian De Palma 
 
Writing credits
Brian De Palma (written by)

Produced by
Fred C. Caruso .... associate producer (as Fred Caruso)
George Litto .... producer
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Pino Donaggio 
 
Cinematography by
Ralf D. Bode (director of photography) (as Ralf Bode)
 
Film Editing by
Gerald B. Greenberg  (as Jerry Greenberg)
 
Casting by
Vic Ramos 
 
Art Direction by
Gary Weist 
 
Set Decoration by
Gary J. Brink  (as Gary Brink)
 
Costume Design by
Gary Jones 
Ann Roth 
 
Makeup Department
Joe Cranzano .... makeup artist (as Joseph Cranzano)
Bob Grimaldi .... hair stylist (as Robert Grimaldi)
Robert Laden .... special makeup artist
Tony Lloyd .... makeup artist: Mr. Caine (as Anthony Lloyd)
 
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... production manager (as Fred Caruso)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Eustace .... second assistant director
Paula Mazur .... dga trainee
Michael Rauch .... assistant director
Robert Rothbard .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Gilbert Gertsen .... chief carpenter (as Gilbert Gertson)
William Kane .... property master
William Lowry .... construction grip
Ernest W. Southern .... scenic chargeman (as Ernie Southern)
Paul J. Wilson .... prop man
 
Sound Department
Ed Abele .... boom operator
John H. Bolz .... sound mixer (as John Bolz)
Peter Ilardi .... sound recordist
Lowell Mate .... assistant sound editor
Michael Moyse .... sound editor
Dan Sable .... supervising sound editor
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording supervisor
Jean Fraser Wardle .... assistant sound editor (as Jean Wardle)
Randall Coleman .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Victor Magnotta .... stunt coordinator (as Vic Magnotta)
BJ Davis .... stunt double: Michael Caine (uncredited)
Steve James .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Holly Bower .... still photographer
Marc Hirschfeld .... assistant camera
Jack Kennedy .... dolly grip
Ed Quinn .... key grip
Michael Stone .... camera operator
David Wagreich .... second assistant camera
James C. Walsh .... best boy (as James Walsh)
William Ward .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Greg Fauss .... costumer: men
Alba Schipari .... costumer: women
 
Editorial Department
Ray Hubley .... assistant editor
Maria Iano .... assistant editor
Bill Pankow .... associate editor
Wende Phifer Mate .... assistant editor (as Wende Phifer)
 
Music Department
Todd Kasow .... music editor
Natale Massara .... conductor
John Moses .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Tom O'Brien .... transportation captain (as Thomas O'Brien)
Patrick Hogan .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... presenter
Edward Crocitto .... location coordinator (as Ed Crocitto)
Jean De Niro .... production assistant
Gary Hill .... assistant: Mr. DePalma
Sam Irvin .... assistant: Mr. DePalma
Gail Kearns .... assistant: Mr. Litto
Shirley Marcus .... production office coordinator
Danny Matalon .... production assistant
Martha Pinson .... script supervisor
Curtis Sayblack .... auditor (as Curtiss Sayblack)
Jeffrey Silver .... location manager
Rachel Ticotin .... production assistant
Joy Glaccum .... stand-in: Angie Dickinson and Michael Caine (uncredited)
Victoria Johnson .... body double: Angie Dickinson (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
105 min | USA:104 min (R-rated version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Australia:MA (Cable TV rating) | Brazil:14 | Canada:R | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1996) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1980) | France:16 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2013) | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM18 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 (1981) | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:R21 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (1986) (1990) (2002) | USA:X | USA:R (cut) | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In 1982, Dressed to Kill had its television broadcast premier on NBC. During this broadcast, the following dialog slipped past the censors and was aired to millions: Dr. Elliot: "When was the last time you had sexual intercourse with your wife, Lieutenant?" Detective Marino: "What the fuck business is it of yours?"See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Once the action heightens during the museum sequence, and we have now switched from tracking shots to steadicam shots, there is one steadicam pan in particular (from Dickinson's point of view) that reveals the on-set lighting equipment at the top of the frame.See more »
Quotes:
[last lines]
Peter Miller:Look, Liz, I've got to get home and get to work.
Liz Blake:Gee, I'm gonna miss having you on my tail. You made me feel kind of safe.
Peter Miller:Want to come home with me? I'd love the company.
Liz Blake:Wouldn't Mike mind?
Peter Miller:Mike's out of town on a business trip. We've got plenty of room.
Liz Blake:Great. I could sure use the vacation.
Peter Miller:Good, good. I'll get the check.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

What are the differences between the R-Rated version and the Unrated Version?
See more »
52 out of 83 people found the following review useful.
Worth viewing, but it hasn't aged well, 21 February 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is having problems in her marriage and otherwise--enough to see a psychologist. When her promiscuity gets her into trouble, it also involves a bystander, Liz Blake (Nancy Allen), who becomes wrapped up in an investigation to discover the identity of a psycho killer.

Dressed to Kill is somewhat important historically. It is one of the earlier examples of a contemporary style of thriller that as of this writing has extensions all the way through Hide and Seek (2005). It's odd then that director Brian De Palma was basically trying to crib Hitchcock. For example, De Palma literally lifts parts of Vertigo (1958) for Dressed to Kill's infamous museum scene. Dressed to Kill's shower scenes, as well as its villain and method of death have similarities to Psycho (1960). De Palma also employs a prominent score with recurrent motifs in the style of Hitchcock's favorite composer Bernard Herrmann. The similarities do not end there.

But De Palma, whether by accident or skill, manages to make an oblique turn from, or perhaps transcend, his influence, with Dressed to Kill having an attitude, structure and flow that has been influential. Maybe partially because of this influence, Dressed to Kill is also deeply flawed when viewed at this point in time. Countless subsequent directors have taken their Hitchcock-like De Palma and honed it, improving nearly every element, so that watched now, after 25 years' worth of influenced thrillers, much of Dressed to Kill seems agonizingly paced, structurally clunky and plot-wise inept.

One aspect of the film that unfortunately hasn't been improved is Dressed to Kill's sex and nudity scenes. Both Dickinson and Allen treat us to full frontal nudity (Allen's being from a very skewed angle), and De Palma has lingering shots of Dickinson's breasts, strongly implicit masturbation, and more visceral sex scenes than are usually found in contemporary films. Quite a few scenes approach soft-core porn. I'm no fan of prudishness--quite the opposite. Our culture's puritanical, monogamistic, sheltered attitude towards sex and nudity is disturbing to me. So from my perspective, it's lamentable that Dressed to Kill's emphasis on flesh and its pleasures is one of the few aspects in which others have not strongly followed suit or trumped the film. Perhaps it has been desired, but they have not been allowed to follow suit because of cultural controls from conservative stuffed shirts.

De Palma's direction of cinematography and the staging of some scenes are also good enough that it is difficult to do something in the same style better than De Palma does it. He has an odd, characteristic approach to close-ups, and he's fond of shots from interesting angles, such as overhead views and James Whale-like tracking across distant cutaways in the sets. Of course later directors have been flashier, but it's difficult to say that they've been better. Viewed for film-making prowess, at least, the museum scene is remarkable in its ability to build very subtle tension over a dropped glove and a glance or two while following Kate through the intricately nested cubes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On the other hand, from a point of view caring about the story, and especially if one is expecting to watch a thriller, everything through the museum scene and slightly beyond might seem too slow and silly. Because of its removal from the main genre of the film and its primary concern with directorial panache (as well as cultural facts external to the film), the opening seems like a not very well integrated attempt to titillate and be risqué. Once the first murder occurs, things improve, but because of the film's eventual influence, much of the improvement now seems a bit clichéd and occasionally hokey.

The performances are mostly good, although Michael Caine is underused, and Dickinson has to exit sooner than we'd like (but the exit is necessary and very effective). Dressed to Kill is at least likely to hold your interest until the end, but because of facts not contained in the picture itself, hasn't exactly aged well. At this point it is perhaps best to watch the film primarily as a historical relic and as an example--but not the best, even for that era--of some of De Palma's directorial flair.

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