This multiple-murder story is an offbeat sort of film, with Robert Wagner portraying a calculating youth who intends to allow nothing to stand in his way to money. The screenplay is from a novel by Ira Levin. Gerd Oswald's restrained direction suits the mood.

This multiple-murder story is an offbeat sort of film, with Robert Wagner portraying a calculating youth who intends to allow nothing to stand in his way to money. The screenplay is from a novel by Ira Levin. Gerd Oswald’s restrained direction suits the mood.

Wagner’s troubles start in opening scene, when he learns that his college sweetheart (Joanne Woodward) is expecting a baby, a circumstance that means she’ll be disinherited by her wealthy father and his plans to latch onto the family fortune ruined. He pushes her to her death from the top of a building where they’ve gone to get a wedding license, and since no one knows they’ve been dating (hard for the spectator to swallow), Wagner is in the clear.

Wagner registers in killer role. Woodward is particularly good as the pregnant girl, and Virginia Leith acceptable as her sister. Jeffrey Hunter is lost as a part-time university professor responsible for the final solution of the crimes. Mary Astor and George Macready are okay as Wagner’s mother and the girls’ father.

A Kiss Before Dying

Production

Crown/United Artists. Director Gerd Oswald; Producer Robert L. Jacks; Screenplay Lawrence Roman; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor George Gittens; Music Lionel Newman

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Robert Wagner Jeffrey Hunter Joanne Woodward Virginia Leith Mary Astor George Macready
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