Dressed to Kill (1980)

R   |    |  Mystery, Thriller

Dressed to Kill (1980) Poster

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

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  • Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson in Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Nancy Allen in Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Nancy Allen and Brian De Palma in Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Nancy Allen and Brian De Palma in Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Michael Caine in Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Brian De Palma in Dressed to Kill (1980)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

31 October 2005 | ccthemovieman-1
| Sleazy, Predictable But Very Entertaining
A great suspense movie with terrific slow camera-work adding to the dramatics makes this a treat to watch and enjoy. Director-writer Brian de Palma does a super Hitchcock-imitation (many called it a "ripoff") with this film and the 2.35:1 widescreen DVD is a must to fully appreciate the camera-work (and several scenes with people hiding on each side which are lost on formatted-for-TV tapes).

The downside of the movie, at least to anyone that has some kind of moral standard, is the general sleaziness of all the characters, including the policeman played by a pre-NYPD Dennis Franz (who has hair here!).

The opening scene is still shocking with a fairly long shower scene of Angie Dickinson that is quite explicit, even 25 years after its release. The film has several erotic scenes in it as Dickinson (if that is really her on the closeups) and Nancy Allen are not shy about showing their bodies.

There is not much dialog in the first 20 minutes and no bad language until Franz enters the picture after the murder. The first 36 minutes are riveting and even though it's apparent who the killer is, it's still very good suspense and fun to watch all the way through, particularly for males ogling the naked women.

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Did You Know?


Ray Stark was the original producer on Dressed to Kill (1980).


Liz Blake: Thank god, straight fucks are still in style!


After Liz grabs the razor that Dr. Elliott drops in the elevator, she begins to running toward the screaming housekeeper, with her purse left on the ground in front of the elevator door. As Liz leaves from the apartment door the housekeeper goes into, her purse now appears over her arm.

Alternate Versions

In the network television version, the following changes are made:

  • A different opening. In this version, the shower scene is much shorter.
  • After a few close ups of Kate's face, it shows the man grabbing her, then it cuts to Kate waking up. We never see her and her husband engage in sex.
  • Kate's murder is almost entirely omitted. After the elevator doors open, the quick shot of Bobby's razor slashing Kate's hand has been cut. It just shows the murderer backing Kate into the elevator. Kate's scream as she is slashed is also missing Then, the entire murder is edited out and it just cuts to Liz talking with her John about stock exchange, after which, all the shots of Liz looking at the dying, blood drenched Kate are omitted entirely except for the close ups of Liz's eyes and hands.
  • Instead of having the razor slash Liz's throat at the end, we just see it pressed against her skin, after which it quickly cuts to Liz awakening from her nightmare.
  • All of the cursing and sexually explicit language was re-dubbed.


The Transformation/The Revelation
Composed by
Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Mystery | Thriller

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