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A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

Realising his secret girlfriend Dorothy's pregnancy will sour her relations with her ultra-rich father, career-minded Philadelphia student Jonathan Corliss coolly murders her, making it ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Bonfanti ...
Young Jonathan
...
Lecturer
...
Ellen / Dorothy Carlsson
...
Patricia Farren
Lia Chang ...
Shoe Saleslady
...
Jonathan Corliss
Yvette Edelhart ...
Screaming Lady
...
Thor Carlsson
...
Terry Dieter
Lachele Carl ...
Reporter
...
Waitress
...
Commissioner Malley
...
Dan Corelli
...
Mrs. Corliss
...
Jay Faraday
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Storyline

Realising his secret girlfriend Dorothy's pregnancy will sour her relations with her ultra-rich father, career-minded Philadelphia student Jonathan Corliss coolly murders her, making it look like suicide. He then moves to New York to woo her twin sister Ellen. All seems to go well for him, although Ellen's continued investigations into what she is convinced was not a suicide forces him to kill again. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Loving him was easy. Trusting him was deadly.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for areas of strong violence, graphic sensuality, and some language | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

26 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un beso antes de morir  »

Box Office

Gross:

$15,429,177 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's original ending was shot in a steel mill in Wales, that served as scenario for the Carlsson Copper Factory. After the ending failed test screenings, it was re-written and re-shot in Jonathan's childhood home in Pennsylvania. A few scenes of the original ending can be seen in the theatrical trailer: Jonathan and Ellen wearing helmets at the factory, Jonathan throwing an unidentified man off a crane and Jonathan chasing after Ellen. The trailer also shows unseen scenes such as Jonathan looking through a window blind and a door knob being forced while Jonathan hides behind it with a stretched rope. A few promotional stills for the film show a few more unseen scenes: Ellen and Cathy chatting in the street, Thor grabbing Ellen by her shoulders, Thor, Jonathan and Ellen standing next to a helicopter, Jonathan and Ellen wearing flowery shirts holding exotic drinks. See more »

Goofs

When Ellen looks out at the railroad tracks just prior to the final confrontation, she sees a freight train with a long line of cars with bright green Carlsson Copper logos. The logos, however, are printed on fake-looking prop fabrics draped over the cars. See more »

Quotes

Nurse: She's got two broken ribs, a broken jaw, and a bad concussion. We're going to keep her overnight for observation.
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Soundtracks

Dangerous Love
Written by Simon Stokes & Mark Hefferman
Performed by Simon Stokes
Courtesy of Kook Records
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User Reviews

 
Above average thriller and a fantastic Matt Dillon
19 February 2011 | by (Iceland) – See all my reviews

Usually when a person is so motivated to go to any lengths to achieve his dream it's depicted as a good thing. But when that person is Jonathan Corliss (Dillon), it's a nightmare for those who care about him and bloody executions for those who stand in his way.

Matt Dillon's performance as a charming psychopath is what works very well in "A Kiss Before Dying". Corliss, a blue collar Philadelphia lad with huge ambitions, sets his sights on a Copper Baron's (Max Von Sydow) empire and plans to become a member of the family. When it becomes necessary to dispose of the Baron's daughter (Sean Young), Corliss (under an alias) moves on to her twin sister (Young again) and enters the family. But hiding his tracks and his former life proves quite the hassle and Corliss has no reservations with killing every one who stands in his way of greatness in the Copper business.

A double doze of Sean Young is a bit too much to take; she's simply an astonishingly bad actress but Dillon more than makes up for that. His Jonathan Corliss is a very memorable psychopath. It's never made crystal clear as to why he set his sights solely on Von Sydow's empire but his journey on the way is suspenseful. It's not a very graphic film but it does have some very nasty moments and disturbing death scenes.

Director Dearden makes no attempts in admitting his affection for Alfred Hitchcock and some moments here are obviously a tribute to the old master of suspense. The ending does feel a bit rushed but overall "A Kiss Before Dying" is an above average thriller with some striking and memorable set pieces.


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