Director: Brian De Palma
Cast: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Release Date: Now Available on Criterion Collection Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist’s patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.
*This review covers the corrected second printing/pressing of the release.
In order to assure that fans and newcomers to this wonderful film alike are provided with the highest quality experience possible, I would like to briefly address the reprinting of the Criterion Blu-Ray release first thing. As a result of a video issue, Criterion pulled and recalled the first printing of the release in order to fix this error, and the difference is night and day. While no retailers should be selling the first printing, in order to be absolutely certain you have the right release, you can check on the right side of the rear cover above the Criterion logo, at the bottom of that text it should note ‘second printing 2015’ and the text on the disc itself also notes ‘second pressing 2015’. This way everyone can be absolutely certain they have the correct version.
Written and Directed by the talented Brian De Palma and released in 1980 with a number of required cuts made in order to reach an R rating, much to De Palma’s displeasure, ‘Dressed to Kill’ now arrives home on Blu-Ray with the Criterion HD treatment in what is undoubtedly the definitive version of the film, with the previously cut elements all carefully replaced; cut footage along with audio dubbing have all been corrected with care, providing a completely uncut and both visually and audibly gorgeous representation of Brian De Palma’s true vision of his classic film.
Fans of Brian De Palma’s wonderful psychological thriller ‘Dressed to Kill’ will without question want to make certain to pick up a copy of the Criterion Collection’s absolutely gorgeous Blu-Ray release to add to their collections. The Criterion Blu-Ray release delivers outstanding newly remastered high definition video and audio presentations of the films Unrated cut (De Palma’s preferred version), supervised and approved by Brian De Palma himself. It also includes a hefty collection of bonus content such as ‘New Interviews’ including ‘A New Conversation between De Palma and filmmaker Noah Baumbach’, plus a great deal more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) easily making it a definite must own.
The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Dressed to Kill’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of Brian De Palma’s preferred Unrated cut utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The following is a quote from inside the releases’ included booklet regarding the video transfer for those who would prefer some additional details:
The version of the film included here is director Brian De Palma’s original and preferred unrated cut. Supervised by De Palma, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner from the 35mm original camera negative; a 35mm interpositive was also used for additional footage for this cut. Benjamin Sutor at Sony Colorworks in Culver City, California, supervised the conform of unrated content to the original R-rated theatrical version to correctly assemble this master. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, and warps were manually removed using MTI’s DRS, while Digital Vision’s Phoenix was used for small dirt, grain, noise management, jitter, and flicker.
The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole, especially when taking into consideration the age of the film. It delivers a consistently sharp presentation that is gorgeously detailed down to each line, while still maintaining a proper level of grain and other artifacts of its source. It holds up impressively during even the darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never for a moment causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or indiscernible. Overall, this is a downright phenomenal high definition video presentation that is certain to thrill fans.
The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release includes a Lossless 1.0 Linear PCM monaural soundtrack. The following is a quote from inside the releases’ included booklet regarding the audio transfer for those who would prefer some additional details:
The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm magnetic tracks. Clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD, AudioCube’s integrated workstation, and iZotope RX 4.
This lossless monaural soundtrack sounds wonderful for what it is, providing a clean, smooth and impressive audio presentation throughout. Every auditory element sounds great and surprisingly detailed, the films gorgeous score, dialogue and other elements all share the channel without qualm, never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to other activity to be rendered indiscernible or vice versa. Overall, this is an impressive 1.0 Linear PCM Mono soundtrack that delivers admirably in every way required of it, it shouldn’t disappoint.
The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Dressed to Kill’ features an impressive collection of supplemental material. Included on the release are a number of New Interviews, all of which were conducted by the Criterion Collection in 2015, they include: ‘Brian De Palma’ (running approximately 19 minutes in length), ‘Nancy Allen’ (approximately 16 minutes), ‘George Litto’ (12 minutes), ‘Pino Donaggio’ (16 minutes), ‘Victoria Lynn Johnson’ (9 minutes), and ‘Stephen Sayadian’ (10 minutes), along with a new dedication piece to the late cinematographer Ralf Bode titled ‘Defying Categories: Ralf Bode’ (11 minutes). The release also features the 2001 Documentary ‘The Making of Dressed to Kill’ (44 minutes), plus an exploration of the cuts they were forced to make in order to receive the initial R rating in ‘Slashing Dressed to Kill’ (10 minutes). We are additionally treated to ‘An Appreciation by Keith Gordon’ (6 minutes), a ‘Version Comparison’ (5 minutes), ‘Storyboards’ and the films ‘Trailer’.