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A Kiss Before Dying

So I just watched this 1956 classic with the incredibly gorgeous Robert Wagner as a charming, conniving and murderous horndog on the make.

Unintentionally funny scenes where Joanne Woodward gets tumbled arse over tits from the municipal building roof and for the ending in the mine.

Any thoughts?

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by Anonymousreply 46September 18, 2023 11:52 PM

I didn't see the original. I only became aware of A Kiss before Dying when Matt Dillon and crazy supergluer Sean Young remade it in 1991. It was dreadful. Not nearly enough shirtless Matt, which would have been its only saving grace. Just awful.

by Anonymousreply 1May 14, 2023 10:05 PM

Funny movie. Plus it features fabulous tall drink of water and stylish gal about town Virginia Leith!

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by Anonymousreply 2May 14, 2023 10:34 PM

I remember picking up the book after reading "Rosemary's Baby". The book is better than the film.

by Anonymousreply 3May 14, 2023 10:38 PM

Another funny scene was Robert pushing Joanne down the bleachers hoping she'd miscarry and she just gets up like nothing happened, or not even realising he purposefully knocked her over!

by Anonymousreply 4May 14, 2023 10:38 PM

Here's the clip of the fall at the 1:50 mark. Obviously a ragdoll falling and doing a few somersaults as she goes.

Just saw a clip of the same scene from the remake. First Sean Young is an awful actress and looks like a 40 yo posing as a college student. Second there was no kiss before dying, Third Dillon seems to play him as a complete psychopath and fourth what's with the final-destinationesqe bloody splat?

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by Anonymousreply 5May 14, 2023 10:48 PM

The actress who played Joanne’s sister was really terrible…a plank of wood with titties.

The remake is a guilty pleasure of mine…

by Anonymousreply 6May 14, 2023 11:02 PM

Robert Wagner really was handsome. Blake Edwards is not my favorite director, but he's the one who made good use of that somewhat smarmy quality Wagner had in [italic]the Pink Panther[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 7May 14, 2023 11:05 PM

R6 I thought she was fine, quite pretty and determined

by Anonymousreply 8May 14, 2023 11:05 PM

R8 I liked Virginia Leith. She was shtupping Jeffrey Hunter in real life at the time of filming, plus I love this detail about her early life, which begs the question “can’t a bitch read a book in peace?”

“Leith was arrested for felonious assault with a razor blade after a fight with her roommate on October 22, 1943. The attack required 40 stitches to repair the damage to her roommate's face. It appears the roommates had major disagreements over late-night reading.”

by Anonymousreply 9May 14, 2023 11:10 PM

R9 I didn't know that, wow!

by Anonymousreply 10May 14, 2023 11:19 PM

I read the book as well. It’s been a long time, but I seem to remember the sociopathic fortune hunter murdered not one sister but two. We’re there triplets? R3, am I on the right track or on the road to dementia?

by Anonymousreply 11May 14, 2023 11:23 PM

I can't stand Joanne Woodward. I have watched that scene on repeat the same way Goldie Hawn watches that Meryl Streep and Michael Caine strangulation scene in Death Becomes Her. No cake frosting though.

by Anonymousreply 12May 14, 2023 11:27 PM

R11 Wikipedia mentions the movie removes the third sister, probably for time constraints

by Anonymousreply 13May 14, 2023 11:29 PM

I love how crazy this scene is in the remake.

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by Anonymousreply 14May 14, 2023 11:30 PM

Sean's face is already bloody before she hits the ground

by Anonymousreply 15May 14, 2023 11:33 PM

The film's great fun. I love Jeff Hunter walking around with a pipe in his pretty mug.

And Walker is sooooooo skinny.

by Anonymousreply 16May 14, 2023 11:43 PM

I wonder how he made the mistake of knocking her up

by Anonymousreply 17May 14, 2023 11:45 PM

[quote] fourth what's with the final-destinationesqe bloody splat?

By far the best part of the remake!

by Anonymousreply 18May 14, 2023 11:46 PM

I havent seen this version of the film but now feel I should especially as it features the brilliant Joanne Woodward.

by Anonymousreply 19May 14, 2023 11:49 PM

Wow, Leith sliced her roommate with a razor? Did not know that!

by Anonymousreply 20May 14, 2023 11:49 PM

Another inconceivable plot point, when Bud (Wagner) is stealing the chemicals the girl who lets him in asks if he's in her chem class. Come on! If someone that gorgeous was in your class you'd surely remember. Mainly because your knickers need wrung out every hour!

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by Anonymousreply 21May 14, 2023 11:54 PM

[quote]Leith died on November 4, 2019 at the age of 94. Upon her death, her body was donated to medical science at the UCLA Medical School.

Who did she leave her head to?

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by Anonymousreply 22May 14, 2023 11:54 PM

Mary Astor played Robert Wagner's mother.

by Anonymousreply 23May 15, 2023 12:00 AM

Here's my take on this Technicolor noir. Fascinating, but also cheesy, like the opening titles and theme song, fit for a frothy '50s rom-com...

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by Anonymousreply 24May 15, 2023 12:03 AM

[quote] Sean's face is already bloody before she hits the ground

That's because she cut it falling through the plate glass window just beforehand.

by Anonymousreply 25May 15, 2023 12:06 AM

R24 I've been reading your blog for a week or so! Great work sir! X

by Anonymousreply 26May 15, 2023 12:07 AM

R25 didn't she go through it back first?

by Anonymousreply 27May 15, 2023 12:08 AM

The other thing I love about the 1991 remake is the completely obvious cheap curly blonde wig Sean Young wears (as can be seen in the "SPLAT!" scene linked above) as Dorrie, to distinguish her from when she plays her twin sister Ellen. It's so awful it's hilarious--they must have bought it from the Eva Gabor Wig Collection.

by Anonymousreply 28May 15, 2023 12:12 AM

That death is shocking and horrible. If you found it funny, there's something wrong with you.

by Anonymousreply 29May 15, 2023 12:14 AM

(R26) Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 30May 15, 2023 12:15 AM

R29 are you talking about the 1956 one? It's obviously an old ragdoll in Joanne's place, spinning unconvincingly, that's why it's funny.

I don't find the remake death funny, it's pointlessly gory

by Anonymousreply 31May 15, 2023 12:20 AM

Thanks for that clip, r14: Matt Dillon at his Matt Dillonest. Gorgeous face and hair, and that sexy New York-lite way of talking made me so weak in 1991. I was his number one fan that year. Shame the movie was so bad.

by Anonymousreply 32May 15, 2023 12:30 AM

R13, thanks! He does he kill a second sister in the book!

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by Anonymousreply 33May 15, 2023 12:41 AM

So, r33, a sociopathic An American Tragedy? I wonder how he kills Ellen.

by Anonymousreply 34May 15, 2023 2:17 AM

I honestly don’t remember. I don’t believe it was a s spectacular as the rooftop Murder.

I DO remember the final scene in some kind of metalworks plant where the killer falls into molten copper or something.

AND they shot this for the Matt Dillon movie, but didn’t use it. I remember seeing a clip. I saw a clip on some show before the movie came out. Then they scrapped it for a considerably worse finale. Does he get run over by a train?

by Anonymousreply 35May 15, 2023 2:21 AM

^ I guess the original ending was in the trailer.

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by Anonymousreply 36May 15, 2023 2:23 AM

Damn, how did all of that go into the link preview?

Here is the trailer where you can see bits of the original ending.

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by Anonymousreply 37May 15, 2023 2:29 AM

I watched this recently. Fuck, Robert Wagner was so sexy and gorgeous when young, I couldn't stop looking at him. Even though he's extremely wooden as an actor. He was gorgeous in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, White Feather, The True Story of Jesse James and All The Fine Young Cannibals as well. It helps he costarred with Jeffrey Hunter who was also sexy and beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 38September 18, 2023 9:45 PM

The remake is a guilty pleasure of mine as well, R6.

by Anonymousreply 39September 18, 2023 10:06 PM

Is Sean Young dubbed in that clip @ R14? Awful.

by Anonymousreply 40September 18, 2023 10:11 PM

I take both versions for what they are. This allows me to enjoy the hell out of both of them. The few villains RJ played he was very good at it. He didn't do it enough.

by Anonymousreply 41September 18, 2023 10:11 PM

[quote] The few villains RJ played he was very good at it. He didn't do it enough.

Oh, really??

by Anonymousreply 42September 18, 2023 10:13 PM

RJ playing a charming sociopath, he was perfect. Doesn't help with the theories he killed Natalie Wood.

by Anonymousreply 43September 18, 2023 10:14 PM

I said villain not lifeguard.

by Anonymousreply 44September 18, 2023 10:18 PM

Myself, if I were about to die, I would want a better chocolate than that, maybe a Cadbury.

by Anonymousreply 45September 18, 2023 10:26 PM

"A Kiss Before Dying" reminds me a lot of "The Talented Mr. Ripley." And Ira Levin's "Kiss" came out first... Robert Wagner's shallow beauty is perfect for this role, Mary Astor is a hot in her flaming red poodle cut, and Joanne Woodward's 'do makes her look like Diana Scarwid as Christina Darling in "Mommie Dearest." For more, read here...

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by Anonymousreply 46September 18, 2023 11:52 PM
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