Gift Guide

Gift Guide

Gift Guide: ‘Dressed to Kill' Blu-Ray

Love it or hate it, the work of Brian De Palma ages remarkably well. Those lurid, sensationalistic films of the ‘70s and ‘80s that once seemed so cheap and sleazy to most critics now appear cutting-edge. That's due in part to the lack of pretense in De Palma's best work. These days there's something refreshing about a smart filmmaker who wants nothing more than to entertain the hell out of audience. And few De Palma films are as outright entertaining as Dressed to Kill, his 1980 white-knuckler starring Angie Dickinson as a woman whose psychosexual dreams come true with her death, Nancy Allen as the person who witnesses Dickinson's murder, and Michael Caine as Dickinson's therapist. (To say more would spoil the film's many surprises for the uninitiated.) De Palma's long been accused of ripping off  Hitchcock's work, but he makes no attempts to hide his influences, and, in hindsight, appears to be using the Master's methods as the foundation – as opposed to the façade – for rambunctious storytelling. The film's Blu-ray edition does ample justice to the smoky visuals and Pino Donnagio's typically lush score.

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