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A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

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2:06 | Trailer

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A determined student murders his pregnant secret girlfriend and moves onto her twin sister who gradually becomes suspicious of her new lover.

Director:

James Dearden

Writers:

Ira Levin (novel), James Dearden (screenplay)
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Bonfanti James Bonfanti ... Young Jonathan
Sarah Keller Sarah Keller ... Lecturer
Sean Young ... Ellen / Dorothy Carlsson
Martha Gehman ... Patricia Farren
Lia Chang Lia Chang ... Shoe Saleslady
Matt Dillon ... Jonathan Corliss
Yvette Edelhart Yvette Edelhart ... Screaming Lady
Max von Sydow ... Thor Carlsson
Jim Fyfe ... Terry Dieter
Lachele Carl Lachele Carl ... Reporter
Briony Glassco ... Waitress
Shane Rimmer ... Commissioner Malley
James Russo ... Dan Corelli
Diane Ladd ... Mrs. Corliss
Adam Horovitz ... Jay Faraday
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Loving him was easy. Trusting him was deadly. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for areas of strong violence, graphic sensuality, and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un beso antes de morir See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,348,165, 28 April 1991

Gross USA:

$15,429,177

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,429,177
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Sean Young sports blond hair in this film when playing the supporting role of Dorothy Carlsson. In her other role as Ellen Carlsson, Young is seen with her usual dark hair. See more »

Goofs

When Ellen looks out at the railroad tracks just prior to the final confrontation, she sees a freight train with a long line of cars with bright green Carlsson Copper logos. The logos, however, are printed on fake-looking prop fabrics draped over the cars. See more »

Quotes

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 »


Soundtracks

Transfusion
Written by Justin Langlands & David Henley
Performed by Blood Brothers
Courtesy of Big World Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kiss of life required to ignite this film noir re-imaging.
18 November 2017 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

A remake of the 1956 film of the same name, A Kiss Before Dying is directed by James Dearden and Dearden adapts the screenplay from Ira Levin's novel. It stars Sean Young, Matt Dillon, Max von Sydow, Dianne Ladd and James Russo. Music is by Howard Shore and cinematography by Mike Southon.

Story has Dillon as a troubled young man who murders his pregnant girlfriend (Young) and then hones in on her twin sister (Young again obviously) for further psychotic shenanigans.

It's just about an average thriller at best, where even if the plot line and character motivations are intriguing enough to hold the attention to keep one interested to the ending, even there the outcome is rushed and unsatisfying. From the negative reaction at the initial test screenings, to Golden Raspberry awards, and tales of rewrites and re-shoots et al, this noir reboot is messy.

The tie-in to Hitchcock's Vertigo is glaringly "not" homage worthy, and not just content with that, director Dearden tries to use some of Hitchcock's macabre black humour to unintentionally "not" witty results. So with Young on hilariously bad form as well, the thriller aspects strain to get resuscitated for dramatic worth.

Dearden does show some nice touches with his camera-work, and there's a lurid quality to Southon's colour lenses that pay respect in heart to Levin's source material, but ultimately it's hard to recommend seriously to noir fans and the 56 version (itself not without problems) is still the way to go. 5/10


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