Dressed To Kill is another in a long line of classic films from Arrow, being released on Blu-ray for the first time, and which I hadn’t seen before in any form.
When it comes to this Brian De Palma movie, however, it is the first time it has ever been released uncut in the UK. The extras show the amount of violence and sex which was trimmed from both the R-rated and network versions in the US – for example, in both, the censors took exception to a neck-slashing, but it’s not clear exactly what was cut in the UK.
Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is seen going to see therapist Dr Elliott (Michael Caine) and discusses sleeping with him because the sex life with her own husband is boring. Elliott doesn’t want to know because he says he doesn’t want to jeopardise his marriage, but not to worry as she cops off with a bloke who’s visiting the local art gallery instead, and without a word spoken between them, she has a rather fun afternoon.
While the plot and structure of Dressed To Kill will be well-known to a lot of people, I don’t want to give any spoilers or much description here as it was all new to me. So, when it comes to the murder, there are, quite frankly, some movie characters who simply deserve to be killed. Why? Because when faced with what they believe to be the inevitable, they just sit or stand there, complain and wait for it to happen, not even attempting to fight back.
Also, earlier on, watching Angie Dickinson soap herself up in the shower at the start of Dressed To Kill made me think… how come her make-up didn’t run?
Elsewhere in the cast, Nancy Allen plays a hooker who’s partially a witness to the murder and, as a result, her life is in danger. The only person who can possibly help her is Peter (Keith Gordon), Kate’s son. Naturally, Kate does have a husband but he’s a useless sack of nothing that seems completely absent the whole time – why?
And seeing Dennis Franz, here as Detective Marino, crop up on another De Palma film makes me want to go back and check out NYPD Blue, which I never saw first time round, but he was just perfect in Die Hard 2 as Captain Carmine Lorenzo.
Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.