A fledgling Staten Island journalist witnesses a brutal murder in the neighboring apartment of a French-Canadian model, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.
Brian De Palma
While taking a shower, Kate Miller, a middle-aged, sexually frustrated New York City housewife, has a rape fantasy while her husband stands at the sink shaving. Later that day, after complaining to her psychiatrist Dr. Robert Elliott about her husband's pathetic performance in bed, she meets a strange man at a museum and returns to his apartment where they continue an adulterous encounter that began in the taxicab. Before she leaves his apartment, she finds papers which certify that the man has a venereal disease. Panicked, Kate rushes into the elevator, but has to return to his apartment when she realizes she's forgotten her wedding ring. When the elevator doors open, she's brutally slashed to death by a tall blonde woman wearing dark sunglasses. Liz Blake, a high-class call girl, is the only witness to the murder and she becomes the prime suspect and the murderer's next target. Liz is rescued from being killed by Kate's son Peter, who enlists the help of Liz to catch his mother's ...Written by
Although Peter Miller uses a suction-cup audio pickup to overhear the closed-door conversation between Detective Marino and Dr. Elliott, it's apparent in the view from inside Marino's office, as they get up to leave, that the large windowed door does not actually have any glass in it.
Reflections off the door glass can be seen during outside shots, but it was presumably removed for the interior scene in order to keep the waist-level, upward camera angle from revealing all the overhead lights when the door is swung open. See more »
In the network television version, the following changes are made:
A different opening. In this version, the shower scene is much shorter.
After a few close ups of Kate's face, it shows the man grabbing her, then it cuts to Kate waking up. We never see her and her husband engage in sex.
Kate's murder is almost entirely omitted. After the elevator doors open, the quick shot of Bobby's razor slashing Kate's hand has been cut. It just shows the murderer backing Kate into the elevator. Kate's scream as she is slashed is also missing Then, the entire murder is edited out and it just cuts to Liz talking with her John about stock exchange, after which, all the shots of Liz looking at the dying, blood drenched Kate are omitted entirely except for the close ups of Liz's eyes and hands.
Instead of having the razor slash Liz's throat at the end, we just see it pressed against her skin, after which it quickly cuts to Liz awakening from her nightmare.
All of the cursing and sexually explicit language was re-dubbed.
When you compare what Brian De Palma was doing in the 80's to what passes for entertainment today, his films keep looking better and better. "Dressed To Kill, "Blow Out", "Body Double", "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way" are all superb works of a cinematic craftsman at the peak of his powers. The guy had a long run of better than average films. This is pure Hitchcock with an 80's dash of lurid perversion, an affectionately told tale of lust and murder with plenty of twists, huge helpings of style, a stunning Pino Donaggio score, and a trashy, giallo-inspired plot. De Palma's love of complex camera-work and luscious, blood-smudged visuals helps overcome the logical holes while the terrific performances of Dennis Franz, Keith Gordon (a good director in his own right), Nancy Allen (De Palma's wife at the time) and Michael Caine make every scene special. Let the virtuoso take you on a surreal, scary, erotically charged odyssey and you'll enjoy every frame of "Dressed To Kill".
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