42 user 11 critic

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 »



(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »





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


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


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 »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un beso antes de morir  »

Box Office


$15,429,177 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The picture's opening title card read: "University of Pennsylvania 1987". See more »


When Ellen brings Jay to meet her father, she enters the study with her hands tucked into her belt. However in the next shot, showing her from behind, her arms are by her side. See more »


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


Referenced in The Simpsons: Today, I Am a Clown (2003) See more »


Written by Justin Langlands & David Henley
Performed by Blood Brothers
Courtesy of Big World Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Average compact drama with dying acting ala: Young
22 November 2015 | by (adelaide, australia) – See all my reviews

I've seen this average by the numbers film a couple of time. I don't think it could really be anymore predictable. You know what's gonna happen each scene after the next. Starting with a thrilling and bloody drop, what follows is a sort of melodrama packed into a movie with music themes, familiar to those used in The Silence Of The Lambs. With his mother pushing him to be a success in life, after attending college, a young budding career minded guy, Jonathan (Matt Dillon) resorts to killing his ex fiancée as becoming pregnant, as rich Daddy (a fine Max Von Sydow) will cut her out of the will, and money hungry Dillon, can't have that. Now we see he's masquerading as a lover with the sister of the deceased, who's really the only one who believes her sister's suicide was a murder instead, where she can't let go, hence creating problems for Dillon, forced to get bloody again, and you thriller fans know how it goes. Entertainment wise, I still very much enjoy AKBD, sadly the most exciting part, the start with a blood splashing drop, and some of Dillon's expressions, will send chills up your spine. What's awfully familiar here, if not surprising, is the novel was written by the same woman, who wrote the novel, Sliver, from which a bad movie spawned, with a much similar, less blood splattering opening. Dillon has always been a good actor and never lacks, and nor has he done so here. It's Young, who just lazily utilizes character acting, where here was a chance as an actress, to show how versatile she could be, and it seems, she doesn't really care here. Take a leaf out of Van Dammne's book in Double Impact, honey. As playing the two sisters, and I won't even wrack my brain, trying to remember the names. Both characters, are annoying, especially the first one, where I didn't really care much for her acting and her character in the second, prime one, I was glad to see the first go. It's Diane Ladd who stole the acting gold here as Dillon's mother. I liked the fact, James Russo was in this, and did enjoy his scenes, where too, I got the feeling as an actor, he didn't really wanna be there, though did us solid. Here's still a drama thriller to kill time, but after seeing it, may'be even you feel like dropping Young from a towering zenith.

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