"Dressed To Kill (1980/Unrated Blu-ray/MGM)" Review

Review: In 1980, Brian De Palma, the director of Carrie and Blow Out, released this mystery/thriller about a therapist, Dr. Robert Elliott, who gets involved in a murder a long side two women, Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen, which are involved in his life in some way. Nancy Allen witnesses a murder in an elevator and is soon stalked by a woman with blonde hair and a long black trench coat on. Can Robert Elliott stop this woman from getting to Allen’s character before it is too late or not? In my opinion, Dressed to Kill is my favorite Brian De Palma film that he has brought us so far.

I love everything about the film from the directing, writing, the score, and acting. De Palma directed and wrote this film in which he uses fantastic directing angles and writing that keeps you guessing with shocks and thrills. The one thing you can tell is that De Palma is a fan Alfred Hitchcock films and you can see he is inspired in some way or form from some of his films including this film, which is not a bad thing at all. I love that he respects Hitchcock’s work and includes some of the same styles of directing in his films. He is able to use some of the same shocks and thrills that Hitchcock used which I really love in films because I sometimes want to have that same shock value that Dressed to Kill has. Now, if you have heard of this film or have seen it you probably won’t be too shocked by the film when it comes to something’s that you don’t expect to happen in the film and the shocking twist towards the end. Even if you have heard or have seen these things dealing with the film, I don’t think it will take away from how enjoyable the film is.

The music score in the film is great overall. I love the soft melody that the film gives, but also the creepy and yet heart pounding score that the film has. Also, the music is used very well with the directing shots in which both the directing and score go perfectly together including a scene involving a museum, scene at the very end, and the classic plus big elevator scene.

The acting is another great thing about the film. Caine brings a great and mysteries performance because you plays this kind guy, but also has some secrets that are revealed at the end. Caine gives the best performance in this film by far. Allen brings a great performance in which she can play a scared, tough, and likable character. Dickinson plays a great part as well, but is my least favorite performance out of three main leads in the film. She is likable, but also is a character where she gets herself involved with some bad situations which makes me like her, but also not like her. But Dickinson does give a great performance.

 The blu-ray of this film is definitely a step up from the older DVD release, the picture quality of this transfer is absolutely beautiful and clear and I think really represents the original theatrical experience perfectly. All the grain is still intact and you can tell they did not destroy this film with DNR or edge enhancement. Anyone who is a fan of the film like I am will be very please with what you get here. The audio also stands firm on this release as well with a great English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. Also you get a whole slew of special features that even includes a very cool featurette that compares the unrated version, the R rated version, and the TV version of the film.

-Justin Rhine (Contributor)
Director: Brian De Palma
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1980
Time Length: 105 mins.
Company: MGM Home Entertainment
Website: www.mgm.com

Tech Aspects:
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French Mono
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 2.35:1
Codec: AVC @ 36 MBPS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French