Episode #12: A Kiss Before Dying
Listen to Episode 12 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In A Kiss Before Dying, Matt Dillon plays Jonathan Corliss, a university student dating Dorothy (played by Sean Young), the daughter of a rich copper manufacturer. When a surprise pregnancy threatens her inheritance, Jonathan kills her and makes it look like a suicide. Dorothy’s twin sister Ellen doesn’t believe it and is determined to find out the truth with the help of her boyfriend Jay (who is actually Jonathan).
Screenplay by James Dearden; Directed by James Dearden and released on April 26, 1991.
**WARNING: Some of the screenshots included below are graphic/bloody**
This was a remake of a 1956 movie starring Robert Wagner and Virginia Leith, and was based on Ira Levin's first novel. We expected the copper mill shown in the opening credits to be more of a factor in the plot.
Having watched the original in preparation for the episode, we were surprised at how quick they got to the murder of Dorothy.
The death scene was possibly the best part, seeming to borrow heavily from "Suspiria."
The movie gets a little dark and gruesome at times.
But often it doesn't make much sense, like how he's going to fully clean up this hotel crime scene and no one reports a murder, just a disappearance.
We talk about some of the strange motivations for the characters in the movie and how disinterested everyone seems.
Sadly, Sean Young seemed particularly void of emotion most of the time.
There are good members of the cast, but largely they are wasted.
And we get a notable supporting performance from Adam Horovitz as the actual Jay (the guy Jonathan presumably kills to steal his identity).
Overall there's a lot that doesn't make much sense. The ending was a bit of a disappointment and we weren't thrilled with the boy (Jonathan) looking out the window to bookend things.
Awards Talk - The MTV Movie Awards stares out the window at us and included the movie in a montage of “Best Death Scenes” but we're not sure which one it was - maybe him getting hit by the train, but likely it's the first one. If anyone has a copy of the show we could have/borrow, please contact us.
Also we mention the Razzie Awards for the first time, because Sean Young was a two-time winner for this one movie: Worst Actress for playing the “Twin Who Survives” and Worst Supporting for the “Twin Who’s Murdered”
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week, there wasn't any true crime we could tie to the movie, and so we move directly to pop culture.
There was a celebrity death on this day: Carmine Coppola (father to Francis Ford) and composer for movies such "The Godfather: Part II" for which he won an Oscar, passed away.
On to music, the top songs of the week were:
Top #1 US Song - Amy Grant - "Baby, Baby" - Largely a religious recording artist, she had huge crossover appeal with this song
Top #1 UK Song - Chesney Hawkes "The One and Only" - We mentioned this in our Doc Hollywood episode as a decent tune, and it's time has finally come to make the charts.
Top R&B Song - Tony Toni Tone "Whatever You Want"
This week, we focused our TV discussion on the premiere of the Jim Henson Studios sitcom "Dinosaurs." It aired for the first time on TGIF - http://www.tvtango.com/listings/1991/04/26
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 1 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - No. Watch "A Place in the Sun" instead. Similar subject matter but much more entertaining.
If you want to watch A Kiss Before Dying, as of this recording in April 2021, it’s available on HBO Max, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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