At once tongue-in-cheek and scary as hell, Dressed to Kill revolves around the grisly murder of a woman in Manhattan, and what happens when her psychiatrist, her brainiac teenage son, and the prostitute who witnessed the crime try to piece together what happened while the killer remains at large.
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Rewatch. My dad had a VHS bootleg of this and watching it growing up it always seemed like it 'drifted' between two or three different movies...like a dream or fugue state. It still comes across that way I think...it feels very romantic (capital R, as in Romanticism) -almost futurist- in the way it's made...like Argento's Tenebrae.
I knew the film had me when after a delightful afternoon of steamy sex with a stranger, Angie Dickinson sits down to leave him a love letter: as Pino Donaggio's beautiful score swells, as the camera lingers on her sublime smile, and then—the look of horror when Angie discovers that the man she just fucked has a dozen venereal diseases! Cue laughter+gasps! Trashy, scary and contains perfect deadpan by Michael Caine.
4,5. Forget Hitchcock, from whom this film enjoy some motifs. What matters most it's how appropriates a kind of cinema considered minor by "la fine bouche" - the European erotic B and Z movies and notably the Giallo - and reconfigures it as an intrinsically structuralist exercise, from the inside of cinema. See the figure of the young inventor and how his gadgets serve to integrate the way the film looks and listens.
Seen in 1981 and tonight. After 35 years, I remembered the first shower dream scene (you know, with Angie's face and someone else's body), the travellings in the museum with Pino Donaggio's music and, of course, the elevator's scene. I also remember that American critics were crucifying Brian de Palma then and that only some faithful fans understood him. Now, he's in the Criterion collection. Recommended.
A wonderful satirical thriller, also my first De Palma experience and it's definitely got me excited for more! Loved Michael Caine, the story, the style and tone. Some absolutely fascinating shots. Truly fantastic, sexy, smart, funny and suspenseful.
Possibly the best film that Alfred Hitchcock never made. I'd say it was schlocky if it didn't serve as such a brilliant deconstruction of the psycho-thriller genre that the Master defined. Once again, De Palma displays his astonishing ability to lay bare the most depraved ideas that his idol always flirted with.
Another great lurid and bombastic thriller from cinema's greatest and most shameless plagiarist Brian DePalma. His kinetic camerawork is thrilling as usual, and his sense of the Hitchcockian top notch as always. But what struck me the most was the quality of the performances. Michael Caine is sublimely creepy, and Nancy Allen both cute and sexy. DePalma is at his best with this type of film.
An unapologetic Hitchcock homage, if Hitchcock were allowed to show all the things he just implied. DePalma's body of work is tricky, at once formal, schlocky, and personal—oddly satisfying, too. Maybe its because he knows that, this far into cinema, the only way to catch an audience off guard is to be truly ridiculous.