6.7/10
2,845
66 user 28 critic

A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 12 June 1956 (USA)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
A ruthless college student resorts to murder in an attempt to marry an heiress.

Director:

Gerd Oswald

Writers:

Lawrence Roman (screenplay), Ira Levin (novel)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A determined student murders his pregnant secret girlfriend and moves onto her twin sister who gradually becomes suspicious of her new lover.

Director: James Dearden
Stars: Matt Dillon, Sean Young, James Bonfanti
Trapped (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

U.S. Treasury Department agents go after a ring of counterfeiters.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, John Hoyt
Nocturne (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1940s Los Angeles, when womanizing composer Keith Vincent is found dead, the inquest concludes it was a suicide but police detective Joe Warne isn't so sure.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: George Raft, Lynn Bari, Virginia Huston
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A WWI vet takes on the KKK when he loses his wife to a womanizing Klansman.

Director: James Cruze
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Evelyn Brent, Renée Adorée
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son facing a homicide charge.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Robert Young, Susan Hayward, Jane Greer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman kills her beautiful sister in a rage after finding out she has an affair with her fiancé, and later plans on killing the little girl who may have witnessed the murder.

Director: Pat Jackson
Stars: Ann Sothern, Zachary Scott, Gigi Perreau
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon-to-ship-out sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas, Bill Williams
Smart Woman (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wife turns tables on cheating hubby.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Mary Astor, Robert Ames, John Halliday
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
Crime | Drama | Romance

Inspired by the article "A Kiss Before Dying" by Pamela Colloff, published by Texas Monthly.

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Wagner ... Bud Corliss
Jeffrey Hunter ... Gordon Grant
Virginia Leith ... Ellen Kingship
Joanne Woodward ... Dorothy ('Dorie') Kingship
Mary Astor ... Mrs. Corliss
George Macready ... Leo Kingship
Robert Quarry ... Dwight Powell
Howard Petrie ... Howard Chesser, Chief of Police
Bill Walker ... Bill, the Butler
Molly McCart Molly McCart ... Annabelle Koch
Marlene Felton Marlene Felton ... Medical Student
Edit

Storyline

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... Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some secrets can't be kept ... they have to be buried !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Kuss vor dem Tode See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crown Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellen Kingship (Virginia Leith) drives a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, where Dorie is crying on the bed, Bud goes over and turns on a small lamp on the dresser. The bright light streaming through the blinds in the window behind, spilling on to the far wall disappears - not instantly or all at once, but more slowly from right to left and finally in the window itself, as if a "barn door" or other shutter system was being closed on a light offstage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bud Corliss: Crying isn't going to help.
Dorothy Kingship: I just can't help it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kiss Before Dying
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Carroll Coates
Sung by Dolores Hawkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Stylish, B-Grade Noir Drama
31 December 2004 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

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.


28 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 66 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed