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
See  »

Did You Know?


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


When Ellen discovers her sister's lighter among Jonathan's souvenirs, it lights on the first attempt. It is a fuel-burning lighter, which, after extended storage, would not have worked at all, the fuel having long since evaporated. 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 »


Features Vertigo (1958) See more »


Naked In The Rain
Written by Durga McBroom & Martin Glover
Performed by Blue Pearl
Courtesy of Big Life Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

feel of a remake
8 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

Thor Carlsson (Max von Sydow) is a copper magnate. Jonathan Corliss (Matt Dillon) grew up next to the railroad tracks watching his Carlsson Copper Corp trains roll by. In University, he secretly dates heiress Dorothy Carlsson (Sean Young). She's pregnant and expects to marry him. Instead, he fears her being disowned by her father and throws her off a building. He fakes a suicide letter. Her father wants to cover up a possible scandal but her twin sister NYC social worker Ellen (Sean Young) is not convinced. A year later, Ellen is following clues from Dorothy's friend Patricia Farren to find Dorothy's former boyfriend Tommy Roussell. Corliss kills him and plants the suicide letter on his computer. Police Detective Dan Corelli assumes that Roussell had faked Dorothy's suicide. Then it's revealed that Ellen's new boyfriend is Corliss with the stolen identity of Jay Farraday.

This feels like a remake. Instead of updating the old classic noir, it re-purposes it. There is never any real tension since almost everything is revealed right away. The little mysteries are not that hard to figure out. Even when Ellen's new boyfriend is revealed. It is perfunctory. It is a pulpy melodrama where the shocking reveals never shock. The acting is perfectly good. Sean Young looks cheesy in the blonde wig but she does not deserve the Razzies. They should have given it to the wig. James Dearden should have done more to update the movie or truly buy into its noir classic roots.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: