DRESSED TO KILL – The Directors: Brian De Palma

May 17, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

Our retrospective of some of the most acclaimed works by “Master of Suspense” Brian De Palma continues with his stylish, violent 1980 thriller, Dressed to Kill.

When unhappy wife Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) meets a handsome man in a museum, she goes to his apartment for a quick sexual encounter.  After she leaves, she is murdered by a mysterious blonde woman, as witnessed by Liz (Nancy Allen), a local call girl.   When Kate’s son Peter (Keith Gordon) learns that there was an eye-witness, he enlists Liz’ help to solve his mother’s murder, and they soon set out to investigate Kate’s psychiatrist, Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine), to see if he might know something about Kate’s private life.  When their suspect suddenly appears, the unlikely detectives suspect the culprit might be one of Dr. Elliott’s patients.

In Dressed to Kill, director Brian De Palma deftly incorporates all the tricks and plot devices he learned from observing the masters of the genre: chiefly, Alfred Hitchcock, Mario Bava, and Dario Argento – to great effect, with scenes knowingly reminiscent of Vertigo and Psycho, and color pallets right out of the best of Giallo.  

Wednesday, May 16 – 3:30pm, 6pm, 8:30pm
Thursday, May 17 – 12pm, 2pm
Friday, May 18 – 6pm, 8:30pm

“Dressed To Kill is a nail-biting, seat-squirming, stylish murder mystery with a brain.” – Michael Blowen, Boston Globe

“Dressed to Kill remains a prime example of how De Palma is able to marry his awesome technical prowess to the material, using his dazzling feats of cinematic derring-do to propel his stories rather than bury their weaknesses.  Rating: 4/4.” – Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing

“Eerily transcendent, Dressed to Kill is a layered machine of on-target character work and the sort of tension that only the best of the best filmmakers can ratchet.” – Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com