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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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Inspired by the article "A Kiss Before Dying" by Pamela Colloff, published by Texas Monthly.

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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

Ira Levin's "A Kiss Before Dying" novel won the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. 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 Rishi (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kiss Before Dying
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Carroll Coates
Sung by Dolores Hawkins
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No "A" Word?
26 November 2007 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

Oh, how to resolve the age-old problem of accidentally getting your girlfriend preggers? Well, if you're a good-looking, psychopathic college boy, as portrayed by Robert Wagner in the 1956 thriller "A Kiss Before Dying," the answer is fairly simple: Just knock her off and hope for the best...and pray that her snoopy sister won't start nosing around! Anyway, that's the setup for what turns out to be in essence a poor man's "A Place in the Sun" (1951), but nevertheless a film that remains quite entertaining in its own right. Based on an Ira Levin novel, directed by cult favorite Gerd Oswald, and featuring beautiful, wide-screen color filming (shown to good advantage on the DVD that I just watched), the film certainly does impress. Joanne Woodward comes off very sympathetically here in her third film, and supporting players Mary Astor (a 50-year-old redhead in this picture), George Macready (less hissable than usual) and Jeffrey Hunter (who will ALWAYS be Capt. Pike to me!) are all very fine. But Wagner certainly does steal the show as the pretty-boy whacko. Storywise, I'd say that the plot is a wee bit on the far-fetched side, but never absurdly so, and that most viewers will easily foresee how Wagner will slip up in the end. Still, the film remains suspenseful throughout and concludes most satisfactorily. Strange that the "abortion" word is never brought up, though. Could Wagner's character be a pro-lifer who's into murder? He wouldn't be the first!


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