This Cinemascope Technicolor murder drama from 1955 is a great looking film with perfect 50s visuals to carry it well in 2008. In retrospect, I can see the source for both PEEPING TOM and PSYCHO both in 1960 offering the 'shocking' image of a square cut handsome young man as a cruel killer. Of course that idea alone is really a flip on MONSIEUR VERDOUX with Chaplin as the ageing dandy/ dapper killer and even the comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE again with the least suspecting type as killers. This version of KISS now-days is reflected in MR RIPLEY too. While it is not up the caliber of that film either, these films all form a group of murder mysteries depicting unassuming types revealed to be murderers. A KISS BEFORE DYING has the very handsome Robert Wagner and equally good looking Jeffrey Hunter pitched front and center for what must have been wild female audience reaction. One scene late in the film set in the desert features Wagner in the tightest jeans imaginable looking like a gay denim version of James Dean. It is all a bit silly in its storyline (university campus killer and rich girl family dramas) but visually it is a real 50s treat. Remade clumsily as a Matt Dillon thriller in 1991, this really is the better version completely because of the great looking cast (incl Joanne Woodward and Mary Astor) and the immensely enjoyable Cinemascope 50s set design and art direction.
A Kiss Before Dying (1956) 720p YIFY Movie
A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
A Kiss Before Dying is a movie starring Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, and Virginia Leith. A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.
IMDB: 6.82 Likes
The Synopsis for A Kiss Before Dying (1956) 720p
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...
The Director and Players for A Kiss Before Dying (1956) 720p
The Reviews for A Kiss Before Dying (1956) 720p
smoochReviewed byptb-8Vote: 7/10
A scheming college guy, played by a youthful Robert Wagner, tries to marry into wealth. Complications result in murder. Because of the murder angle, and because the plot centers on Wagner's sly and cunning character, the film reminds me a little of "Dial M For Murder". But, to its credit, "A Kiss Before Dying" has a darker, more brooding, noir-like quality, helped along by a 50's music score that is jazzy and slightly mournful.
Wagner's acting, if not Oscar-worthy, is at least acceptable. But Jeffrey Hunter is miscast, and therefore not convincing, as the pipe-smoking professor/detective. And Joanne Woodward gives a clinging, and altogether too whiny, performance, as the damsel in distress. A couple of interesting, if somewhat implausible, plot twists add impact to the screenplay. The film's conclusion, however, is predictable and just a tad melodramatic.
Overall, "A Kiss Before Dying" comes across as a stylish, very 1950ish, wanna-be classic. It doesn't quite succeed, but is nonetheless worth watching at least once, especially for viewers who like dark, brooding, twist-laden thrillers.
This is not your average 50's noir. Instead we have a low-down manipulative killer (Robert Wagner as Bud) set against the leafy backdrop of a college campus instead of the usual grimy cheapjack one. And from the clothes and cars down to the shotgun wedding ethic, it practically screams mid 1950s.
Mary Astor is Bud's predatory mother who wants her son to marry into wealth and social position, and Joanne Woodward is Dorie, Bud's sweet and naive girlfriend who believes he really loves her and wants to marry her. But Dorie gets pregnant and dad is the unforgiving type, and Bud is afraid Dorie will be disinherited and Bud will become just another schlemiel working his way through college with a wife and baby in tow with no dough. Thus since Bud actually is in love with Dorie's dad's fortune, Dorie must go, and I don't mean to another college. But Bud is careful. He is clever and makes Dorie's death look like a suicide - poor girl never saw it coming. And since Bud has learned so much about Dorie's sister, Ellen, from Dorie, that is his next romantic stop.
But like so many killers, Bud has overlooked some things. For one thing Dorie wrote Ellen right before her "suicide" saying that she had met somebody and was very happy. Thus Ellen is just not buying the suicide angle and goes looking for the truth, even though the killer is now her boyfriend! How will all of this work out? Watch and find out.
George McReady is Dorie's and Ellen's rich father who is willing to believe the worst of anybody, especially his own children, and he is great as always. I recommend this one if it ever comes your way.