A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  26 April 1991 (USA)
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Reviews: 40 user | 11 critic

Realising his secret girl-friend 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)
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2 wins. See more awards »



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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
Jim Fyfe ...
Terry Dieter
Lachele Carl ...
Commissioner Malley
Dan Corelli
Mrs. Corliss
Jay Faraday


Realising his secret girl-friend 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 no 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:

Der Kuß vor dem Tode  »

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 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 »


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 »


Version of A Kiss Before Dying (1956) See more »


Written by Justin Langlands & David Henley
Performed by Blood Brothers
Courtesy of Big World Records
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User Reviews

Hitchcock tribute
23 January 2006 | by (Waiheke Island, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The large part of the fun of watching A Kiss Before Dying is looking out for the number of Hitchcock movie moments the film is paying tribute to: from Psycho's shower shots and the lonesome mother's house our Norman Bates has escaped from, to the bleaching of the heroine and taking the Kim Novak role a la Vertigo with possibly lethal consequences. I was hugely amused and never mind the creaking plot. On a technical level, I loved the Technicolor hue of the film, very Hitchcock period too. I'm not sure why the lead actress, Sean Young, got a double Razzie award for her dual role. It seems undeserved. I'm sure there must have been far worse performances in 1991 to choose from.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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