Brian De Palma George Morris - Essay

George Morris

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

There is plenty of terror in Dressed to Kill, but the aesthetic distance that separates De Palma from Hitchcock can be measured by the absence of any emotion approaching pity. De Palma never tries to get inside Dr. Elliott, the would-be transsexual murderer …: he merely uses the characters as a catalyst for the succession of jolts that provide the film with its tenuous unity. The director has learned too well from Hitchcock how to manipulate the emotions of an audience, but whereas Hitchcock directed the means of the manipulation toward a larger end, De Palma is consumed by the methods alone. Hitchcock was always straining to perceive the nature of evil; De Palma, at least at this point in his career, seems...

(The entire section is 453 words.)