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Dressed to Kill (1980) Poster

Trivia

The exteriors of the museum scene were shot in New York. The interiors however, were shot in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (note the griffin logo on the map Angie Dickinson checks, it's their logo). The large gorilla painting that she views (called 'Reclining Nude') now resides in the office of the wholesale and retail operations manager of the museum.
Jump to: Spoilers (5)
As a young man, De Palma, at his mother's urging, actually followed his father and used recording equipment to try and catch him with another woman. That incident inspired this film.
In the Angie Dickinson shower scene, a body double is used. When the film first came out the producers encouraged the then 48 year old Dickinson to claim the body was hers. However, it soon came out that it was actually Victoria Johnson (although initially it was suggested that it was de Palma's wife Nancy Allen).
Angie Dickinson said on The Tonight Show that of all the movies she was in, Dressed to Kill is her favorite.
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: "Now what the fuck is it to you?"
Angie Dickinson said the scene where her character gets seduced in the back of a cab was filmed on location in New York, where several gawkers observed the scene and shouted, "Right on, Police Woman!" (referring to her previous TV role).
Brian De Palma specifically wrote the part of Liz Blake for his then wife Nancy Allen to play.
The conversation between Liz and Peter at the end of the movie about male-to-female surgery was filmed at the Windows on the World restaurant complex in the World Trade Center.
In the late 1970s, Brian De Palma wrote a screenplay based on Gerald Walker's article "Cruising", but was unable to obtain the rights to the material. Cruising, the story of a series of brutal murders in the gay New York underworld, was subsequently adapted and directed by William Friedkin, while De Palma fashioned some of the elements from his own Cruising screenplay into Dressed to Kill. Both films were released, to great controversy (and after numerous battles with the MPAA to avoid X ratings), in 1980.
The flirtatious sequence with Angie Dickinson and the mystery man in the museum lasts almost 9 minutes, during which time no dialogue whatsoever is spoken.
The museum scene was originally supposed to have voice over dialogue in it by Angie Dickinson's character.
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Sean Connery was offered the role of Robert Elliott by Brian De Palma, and was enthusiastic about it, but declined on account of previously acquired commitments. They would later work together on The Untouchables, which Connery would win the Academy Award for.
Brian De Palma originally wanted to begin the film with the transsexuals side of the story.
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Michael Caine's psychiatric office is located at 162 East 70th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Victoria Johnson volunteered to not take a credit as Angie Dickinson's body double for the shower scene. Moreover, since Johnson is a redhead she had to dye her pubic hair blonde so she could effectively double for Dickinson in the shower scene.
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Average Shot Length = ~6.5 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~5.9 seconds.
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Brian De Palma originally wanted Liv Ullmann to play Kate Miller, but she declined.
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Slammed at the time for being misogynistic, with it's portrait of a frustrated housewife getting stalked and brutally murdered, NOW organized a huge protest of this movie back in 1980, which of course only boosted ticket sales.
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Most critics see this as a thinly veiled ripoff/homage to Psycho. Same plot structure, same formula, similar cross dressing killer.
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The movie originally started with the killer (disguised through lighting and clever photography) performing his own ad hoc sex change operation in the bathroom. This was changed to Angie Dickenson fantasizing in the shower.
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This movie was originally rated X by the MPAA. Depalma fought the rating and eventually they brought it down to an R.
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Keith Gordon (Peter Miller) appeared in Jaws 2. Michael Caine (Dr. Elliott) appeared in Jaws: The Revenge.
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Anneka Di Lorenzo's last film.
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Angie Dickinson came up with the idea to write "pick up turkey" in the book during the museum sequence. Moreover, Dickinson kept the gloves that she wears in said sequence.
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The person who provides the voice of Bobbi is actor William Finley, a regular in Brian De Palma's films.
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It took poster photographic art director Stephen Sayadian five days to find the stiletto high heel shoes that were used in the one-sheet theatrical poster. Moreover, since said shoes were size eleven they had to be stuffed with tissue paper in order for the model to wear them.
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Dennis Franz came up with the idea for Detective Marino to chew gum.
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When Angie Dickinson tells Keith Gordon "Well I'll let you play with your Peter", it's obviously a pun.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In all scenes except the finale in Dr. Elliott's office, Bobbi is actually played by Susanna Clemm, who also portrays Detective Luce.
Despite playing a major role Angie Dickinson only has 30 minutes of screen time.
Perhaps as a red herring or in-joke, a person who looks identical to Dr. Elliott in drag is seen for an instant walking out the door as Kate first enters his office early in the film.
This can be seen as an inversion of the Psycho formula. In Psycho an introverted young man and his mother are the villians. The psychiatrist is the good guy who comes in at the end to solve the crime and explain Norman's devious serial killing/cross dressing ways to everybody. In Dressed to Kill the psychiatrist is the bad guy who's a devious serial killer and cross dresser. The introverted young man and his mother are the good guys in this version.
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The scene in which Dr. Levy (David Margules) explains that Dr. Elliott ( Michael Caine) is a transsexual is a reference to a scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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