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Dressed to Kill [Blu-ray]
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THE LATEST FASHION IN MURDER
After sexually frustrated housewife Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) has a session with her psychiatrist Dr Elliott (Michael Caine), she silently seduces a man in an art gallery, an assignation that ends in murder and the only witness, high-class prostitute Liz Blake (Nancy Allen) being stalked by the killer in turn.
One of Brian De Palma's darkest and most controversial suspense thrillers, Dressed to Kill was as acclaimed for its stylish set-pieces and lush Pino Donaggio score as it was condemned for its sexual explicitness and blatant borrowings from Alfred Hitchcock in general and Psycho in particular.
But the glee with which De Palma turns this material inside out is completely infectious, as he delves deep inside the troubled psyches of his characters (critic Pauline Kael said that the film was "permeated with the distilled essence of impure thoughts") in order to undermine expectations at every turn.
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To condemn Dressed to Kill as a Hitchcock rip-off is to miss the sheer enjoyment of Brian De Palma's delirious thriller. Homages to Hitchcock run rampant through most of De Palma's earlier films, and this one's chock-full of visual quotes, mostly cribbed from Vertigo and Psycho. But De Palma's indulgent depravity transcends simple mimicry to assume a vitality all its own. It's smothered in thickly atmospheric obsessions with sex, dread, paranoia, and voyeurism, not to mention a heavy dose of Psycho-like psychobabble about a wannabe transsexual who is compelled to slash up any attractive female who reminds him--the horror--that he's still very much a man.
Angie Dickinson plays the sexually unsatisfied, forty-something wife who's the killer's first target, relaying her sexual fantasies to her psychiatrist (Michael Caine) before actually living one of them out after the film's celebrated cat-and-mouse sequence in a Manhattan art museum. The focus then switches to a murder witness (De Palma's then-girlfriend Nancy Allen) and Dickinson's grieving whiz-kid son (Keith Gordon), who attempt to solve the murder while staying one step ahead (or so they think) of the crude detective (Dennis Franz) assigned to the case. Propelled by Pino Donaggio's lush and stimulating score, De Palma's visuals provide seductive counterpoint to his brashly candid dialogue, and the plot conceals its own implausibility with morbid thrills and intoxicating suspense. If you're not laughing at De Palma's shameless audacity, you're sure to be on the edge of your seat. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Brian de Palma's glossy and gratuitous cult classic is an unashamed homage to Alfred Hitchcock - not just one shower scene, but two - and has some marvellous set pieces. Especially the minor ones - check out the accusing looks of the little girl in the elevator when Kate heads home from her afternoon tryst with a lover.
A word of warning on the DVD available in the UK though. Unfortunately, this DVD has no screen set-up extras to allow you to choose the viewing format (though there are 5 language options and scene-selection). It is made to be viewed on a widescreen TV. It plays at 16:9 ratio on a standard TV, but this is not a pan-and-scan version, so you miss bits from the edge. It only REALLY interferes with a couple of scenes, when you get half the face of a character talking, but is an obvious flaw, not to mention a distraction, if you are a fan of the film. It comes with the original theatrical trailer.
I already have the R1 Sp. Ed. and Region Free US blu ray but this is the best version especially as regards to extras imo.
The pq and sound are very good with a nice booklet as usual by Arrow but as with a lot of their blu rays and dvds I change the covers and for DTK you have the original artwork as on the 1980 poster.
it's a shame Michael Caine who is good in this (Sean Connery was after the role!) is not featured in the extras.....which is like John Travolta not in the recent Arrow blu ray of BLOW OUT.
Why not? Was the money not enough?
Rant aside this is an excellent film and you've got a good reason (if you haven't already) to see DePalma's classic thriller UNCUT!
This looks fantastic on Blu-ray and for me it was like watching the film for the first time! And Pino Donnagio's gorgeous music has never sounded so good!
Great extras, with interviews with all the cast and the outspoken and always controversial DePalma
It’s visually captivating, throwing split screen, split lens, amazing camera movements and deep focus techniques at the viewer in both striking and understated ways. If judged on style alone it'd get top marks without hesitation. But there are other considerations. Some of the cast, for example, were a little too inexperienced for the role they were asked to play. Nevertheless, early De Palma is best De Palma, and Dressed to Kill is one of the essential ones. The Arrow Video blu-ray is the best I've ever seen it look, and it's the unrated, uncut version!
Brian De Palma continues his commitment to Hitchcock thrillers with this erotic and lurid slice of entertainment pie. Plot in short order finds a razor wielding blonde woman on the loose in the city. A high class prostitute, a psychiatrist and the son of a victim try to solve the mystery before they themselves fall to the blonde killer.
De Palma throws it all at the audience here, merrily pushing people's buttons as he goes. He uses all the tools and tricks of his trade for maximum impact, blending a number of genre staples and churning out a hyper stylised neo-noir that gleefully toys with audience expectations. Oh the plot is bonkers, deliriously so, but De Palma is a crafty pro who deftly marries up the excesses of the plot with virtuoso camera work, and not content with that he then brings Donaggio's musical score into play to ensure the viewer's senses are tingling.
Unsurprisingly for the director, Dressed to Kill is sexually charged and violent, from the steamy beginning that ruffled feathers in a number of quarters, to the outrageous coda at the end where De Palma homage's himself, it's a film revelling in its schlocky being. However, it still has time for dramatic suspense and dangerously sensual mysticism, reference an extended section of film that sees Allen's hooker pursued relentlessly through the perils of the subway system, and a sequence played out at an art gallery without dialogue as we become Dickinson's disoriented eyes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have just watched the Arrow film release of this title last night. Despite the fact that there are 2hrs and 40 mins of extras, sadly I must say the image is as grainy as hell. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. McHugh
watched for about 40 mins.then turned it off,on its way to charity shopPublished 7 months ago by John Clarke
U.S. Distributor CRITERION COLLECTION has just released their blu-ray version of DRESSED TO KILL
and i was able to buy myself a copy
and i tell you the HD transfer looks... Read more