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A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  26 April 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 3,720 users  
Reviews: 39 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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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
See  »

Did You Know?


The producers of the film wanted River Phoenix to play the lead. They approached him several times for the role, and kept increasing their offers, but he didn't feel a connection to the material and felt he was unsuitable to play the part, so repeatedly turned it down. See more »


When Ellen and Jonathan take the injured homeless woman to the hospital, Ellen talks to a nurse and offers to pay the bill. First, the nurse is wearing a stiff white cap and uniform. Most nurses, especially in the ER, had stopped wearing this type of uniform by the time the film was set. Also, she gives the nurse the money for the bill. Nurses do not handle billing and collection in hospitals. Plus, she didn't seem to know how much the bill was. And no receipt? 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 »


Featured in 1992 MTV Movie Awards (1992) See more »


Rubberman Rock This House
Written by Jon Moss
Performed by Rubberman
Courtesy of Big World Records
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User Reviews

Book good, Movie not.
27 August 2003 | by (Conn) – See all my reviews

The movie "a kiss before dying" couldn't even begin to do the book justice and had no magnatism to it whatsoever. Most people who read the book will probably concede it was better and if you haven't seen this movie and are thinking of it-don't read the book before hand or you will be sorely disappointed. Read it afterward and see what a mess they made of the movie.

The acting here was not convincing(no offence to Matt Dillion) but how much better would this have been if Ed Norton played the psycho? The book was pretty darn scary, the movie is your typical horror-and a bad one at that.

Maybe I was spoiled by the book, but even had there not been an original book this movie just didn't have anything to it to make it stand out and with the ADDED bonus of there having been a book in the first place it only succeeds in detracting from the movie's allure. Not the worst thriller ever made but far from the best.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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