6.8/10
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62 user 23 critic

A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 12 June 1956 (USA)
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A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.

Director:

Gerd Oswald

Writers:

Lawrence Roman (screenplay), Ira Levin (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Wagner ... Bud Corliss
Jeffrey Hunter ... Gordon Grant
Virginia Leith ... Ellen Kingship
Joanne Woodward ... Dorothy ('Dorie') Kingship
Mary Astor ... Mrs. Corliss
George Macready ... Leo Kingship
Robert Quarry ... Dwight Powell
Howard Petrie ... Howard Chesser, Chief of Police
Bill Walker ... Bill, the Butler
Molly McCart Molly McCart ... Annabelle Koch
Marlene Felton Marlene Felton ... Medical Student
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Storyline

Student Bud Corliss is wooing Dorother Kingship purely for her father's mining fortune. When he finds she is pregnant he realises she is likely to be disinherited, so cleverly stages her suicide. After a couple of months her sister back home finds evidence to question the suicide verdict, but by then has a new boyfriend of her own... Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some secrets can't be kept ... they have to be buried !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Kuss vor dem Tode See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crown Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellen Kingship (Virginia Leith) drives a 1955 Ford Fairlane Convertible. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, where Dorie is crying on the bed, Bud goes over and turns on a small lamp on the dresser. The bright light streaming through the blinds in the window behind, spilling on to the far wall disappears - not instantly or all at once, but more slowly from right to left and finally in the window itself, as if a "barn door" or other shutter system was being closed on a light offstage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bud Corliss: Crying isn't going to help.
Dorothy Kingship: I just can't help it.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Baazigar (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kiss Before Dying
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Carroll Coates
Sung by Dolores Hawkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stylish, B-Grade Noir Drama
31 December 2004 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

A scheming college guy, played by a youthful Robert Wagner, tries to marry into wealth. Complications result in murder. Because of the murder angle, and because the plot centers on Wagner's sly and cunning character, the film reminds me a little of "Dial M For Murder". But, to its credit, "A Kiss Before Dying" has a darker, more brooding, noir-like quality, helped along by a 50's music score that is jazzy and slightly mournful.

Wagner's acting, if not Oscar-worthy, is at least acceptable. But Jeffrey Hunter is miscast, and therefore not convincing, as the pipe-smoking professor/detective. And Joanne Woodward gives a clinging, and altogether too whiny, performance, as the damsel in distress. A couple of interesting, if somewhat implausible, plot twists add impact to the screenplay. The film's conclusion, however, is predictable and just a tad melodramatic.

Overall, "A Kiss Before Dying" comes across as a stylish, very 1950ish, wanna-be classic. It doesn't quite succeed, but is nonetheless worth watching at least once, especially for viewers who like dark, brooding, twist-laden thrillers.


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