Hitchcock brings the successful play, Dial M for Murder by Frederick Knott, to life in a shocking new way. Adapted by use of the amazing 3D technology.This movie is unique for Hitchcock in many ways. It is shot entirely in one room, yet there is never a moment of claustrophobia. As for many movies in the early 50's, it was shot in 3D. And you will at times notice scenes that play into that, but are done with the greatest of expertise. Also he chose not to change the play at all, but rather ride it out.As the aging tennis pro or the jealous husband, Ray Milland is solid all the way <more>
through. And what can I say about Grace Kelly. Behind only Ingrid Bergman and Donna Reed, as the most beautiful and talented actresses of all time. She never fails to impress. She can be quite a darling and at the same time a spectacular bitch.Probably my favorite Hitchcock film, since it is the first one I saw. I was introduced to him very early in life at the age of 7, by my wicked older sister. For years Psycho haunted me and Vertigo confused. But I do thank her for Notorious and Rear Window. Dial M for and North by Northwest.Seems to me that Hitch was not the most attractive guy, yet like all of us he favored beautiful women. Especially blonde's. This leads me to the question of, what does a guy like Hitchcock know about women? Maybe simply, how to kill them.
This has to be in the top 10 of Alfred Hitchcock's cluster of masterfully directed classic films. In her first teaming with The Master, Grace Kelly portrays a wealthy woman married to a fading tennis pro Ray Milliand , who wants her murdered, because he knows of her affair with an American writer Robert Cummings . Nicely shot in color, with a robust musical score, the picture was designed for 3-D, and the effects are quite minimal until the attempted murder scene, by a hired thug Anthony Dawson . Later, due to Milland's interfering, Kelly becomes the accused, until a savvy <more>
detective John Williams unravels the case. Ray Milland is again simply superb, reciting fine dialog with great relish, while Kelly is startling beautiful and polished, until things begin to go awry....her hair and clothes become drabber. Stagy, mostly in one indoor set, even the outdoor London sets seem projection-oriented, but always gripping, fascinating, and nerve-wracking.
Everyone loves Hitchcock. This one is my favorite. "Rear Window" and objectively speaking probably half a dozen others are better but this film is for me. Ray Milland plays a tennis player in the cruel old days when it was not good enough to be good at something. His wife got the money. Grace Kelly did not need much acting talent to play a boring woman but this is not why Ray wants to get rid of her. She falls in love with another man - Ray Cummings of all people. This casting is of course the reason why this film works. We are supposed to sympathize with the greedy husband and at <more>
the same time the wife has to be an angel. Very difficult but Hitchcock succeeds. And mainly because we cannot forgive her for even thinking of giving up her husband for a man like him. Still, at the crucial time when she is about to be strangled our sympathies shift to her. We want her to reach the scissors.And then we admire Ray Milland again and hope he will make it. His eyes are the most wonderful thing in the movies. It is a great pity that he played only in a few good ones even after "Lost Weekend". This is one of the few thrillers that can be watched over and over again. One drawback of course is that after a while you start thinking about the acting and the great directing and the simple pleasure of watching a good movie shifts to the background. This is true for all great films except for the greatest of them all like GWTW or "Thief of Bagdad" that can be watched a hundred times and still be seen like the first time -where you just enjoy the story.
Tony Wendice Ray Milland , an ex-tennis player, unhappily married to Margot Grace Kelly , correctly guesses that she has been cheating, with Mark Halliday Robert Cummings . Mark writes crime stories. Unbeknown to Margot and Mark, Tony knows about the affair, and wants to teach Margot a little lesson, by taking away the thing that is her life. But, being too guileful to do it himself, Wendice blackmails one of his old school friends into murdering her, and the essential thing to doing it is his latchkey.Dial M for Murder succeeds on many levels, and it is largely thanks to some superb <more>
dialogue, written from a tricksy-yet-capable script that never gets too deep. The cast are a treat. Ray Milland is an absolute gem, extremely sly and dispassionate, yet a character so full of self-assurance that one almost sides with him. Grace Kelly completes her great year she gave an Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl and also starred in Rear Window by emanating the poised, beautiful being, that is vulnerable, yet oddly unassailable. And it's weird in that even though she's cheating on her husband, you care for her a lot more than him although that could do with the fact that he's trying to kill her... And John Williams, as the police detective, is quite wonderful.Alfred Hitchcock manipulates and enthrals his audience here like the master that he is. Each scene has a sense of direction, great pacing, and is staged realistically. Stunning full colour photography and a haunting, atmospheric score from Dimitri Tiomkin complete this great package. The ending, when it comes, feels a little too nice to be truly realistic, but that is my only major quibble with an otherwise highly entertaining, thrilling movie.
1954 was a big year for Grace Kelly. She played in Hitchcock's classic "Rear window" and she won an Oscar for best actress in "The country girl" and most people tend to forget that she starred in yet another classic, "Dial M for murder". Starring Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, and Robert Cummings, it is simply one of Hitchcock's finest movies of all-time. In fact, I would consider it to be my second favorite Hitchcock movie ever, my first being "Psycho" although I haven't seen "Rear window" yet . Margot Grace Kelly is married to Tony <more>
Wendice Ray Milland , an ex-tennis player. However, she has been seeing another man named Mark Halliday Robert Cummings . Mark writes crime stories. The two of them think that Tony doesn't know about their relationship but they're wrong; Tony has known about this relationship for one year and seems to have had enough of it. So when Mark, who lives in New-York, comes to London to see Margot, Tony wants to go out with Mark and his wife. But the night of the event, Tony is unable to go. So he tells Margot to take Mark out and to have a good time. The only problem is that Tony doesn't really have something that's keeping him from going out with Margot and Mark. He has another plan, the plan being to blackmail one of his old college friends that has become a small time crook into murdering his wife. What follows this is pure entertainment at its best. As usual, Hitchcock masterfully directs this movie and has the right actors to do the job. Ray Milland and Grace Kelly deliver very good performances and surprisingly enough, Robert Cummings does a rather good job in his role of Mark Halliday, the American crime novel writer who accidentally stumbles on the answer. But it is John Williams who steals the show with his great performance as Inspector Hubbard, the detective who holds the key to the whole mistery. He is simply excellent and pretty funny when he is supposed to be. Another of his great performances is in "Witness for the prosecution" where he played Brogan Moore, Charles Laughton's very good friend and seconding lawyer in the case. As for "Dial M for murder", well it's one of those movies that anyone should see at pretty much any cost.
The perfect film for the perfect murder... (by jluis1984)
After earning an Academy award nomination for her performance in John Ford's 1953 tale of romance and adventure, "Mogambo", the beautiful actress Grace Kelly proved that she was way more than just a pretty face and that there was real talent behind her image. However, what truly took her career to new levels were three now classic films she made directed by the legendary Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Under his direction, Kelly made an integral part of the Master's films, becoming the perfect embodiment of Hitchcock's idea of a female protagonist. While Kelly <more>
debuted two years earlier in the classic Western "High Noon", one could say that it was Hitchcock who really introduced the beauty and talent of Grace Kelly to the world. "Dial M for Murder" was the first of Hitchcock's films with Kelly, and a movie where once again the Master returns to a familiar theme: the perfect murder.The movie is the story of Tony Wendice Ray Milland , a former tennis player married to the beautiful and wealthy Margot Grace Kelly and living in an nice apartment in London. Life is good for Tony, until he discovers that his wife is cheating on him with an old flame of her, famous crime novel writer Mark Halliday Robert Cummings . After that discovery, Tony spends a whole years plotting the perfect way to murder his wife in order to inherit her money, carefully planning every detail of the crime. When Mark visits London again, Tony finds the perfect chance to set his plan in motion, and as planned, he recruits Charles Swann Anthony Dawson to kill his wife. However, bad luck and a sudden change of events will test Tony's plan's infallibility as, just as Mark points out, human action can originate flaws even in the most perfectly devised plan.Like most Hitchcock's films, "Dial M for Murder" was an adaptation of another art-form, this time a popular play by Frederick Knott. As Knott was also the writer of the screenplay, the movie remains extremely faithful to the play, although of course, not without its differences. Knott's script is wonderfully constructed, as like in the play, the dialog is witty and simply captivating, with many twists and turns that spiced up the complex plot and keep it from being boring or tiresome. An interesting feature of the movie is that oddly, there are no black and white morality in the characters, and it's easy not only to sympathize with Margot despite she being cheating on her husband but also to sympathize with Tony despite he wanting to kill his wife , as the characters are wonderfully developed with very detailed personalities.It seems that Hitchcock's knows that the dialog is the highlight of the play, as he deliberately focuses on his actors and uses an elegant camera-work to frame the whole movie inside the apartment. The movie literally is shot entirely in one single room only two other sets are used, and only briefly , but Hitchcock's classy way of using the camera allow a highly dynamic flow that never lets the movie be tiresome. This is also very helpful as Hitchcock just lets his characters keep speaking, carefully describing actions and events when other directors would use flashbacks in a similar way to a what the real play would be. While this approach could easily get boring, Hitchcock's use of colors and overall visual imagery simply creates the perfect medium to allow Knott's dialog to shine.Without disrespecting John Ford or Fred Zinnemann, I think that it was Hitchcock who finally could allow Kelly's talent to shine beyond her physical beauty. Grace Kelly makes her character shine with her subtle and restrained performance, specially showing her skill in the second half of the film. While often Kelly receives top honors in this movie, it is actually Ray Milland who makes the whole movie work with his suave and charming "villian". Milland's performance is simply terrific, making his character nice enough to win the sympathies of the audience, yet still frighteningly intelligent as the mastermind of the plot. John Williams appears as the Inspector in charge to solve the complex puzzle, and delivers a classic performance as the Enlgish gentleman decided to find the final answer. Only Robert Cummings seems miscast as Mark Halliday, although a lot of his weak performance could be blamed to Milland, Kelly and Williams overshadowing him with their excellent work.In many ways, "Dial M for Murder" shares many things with "Rope", as not only the two films are based on successful plays, they are also about committing the perfect murder and oddly, they are both "experiments": while "Rope" was conceived as a "movie in one take", "Dial M for Murder" was done as 3-D movie. Sadly, the interest in 3-D was dying when the film was released, so few theaters carried the movie complete with the gimmick; a real shame, as Hitchcock's use of the technology, unlike most 3-D films of its time, was conceived as a way to enhance the claustrophobia of the Wendices' apartment instead of using it to merely shock the audience with "stuff coming out of the screen" as seen in for example, "House of Wax" . While not too fond of the gimmick, Hitchcock truly gave it a good and intelligent albeit subtle use to it."Dial M for Murder" is probably less celebrated than the Master's most famous movies, the fact that it came out the same years as "Rear Window" again with Grace Kelly may have had something to do with it too. While a subtler and more restrained tale of suspense, this is still the Master at his best, as the movie proves that when he was at the top of his game, no other director was comparable to him. 9/10
A classic stage murder thriller... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
Ray Milland schemes to knock off his lovely wife Grace Kelly in order to support his flagging bank balance...His cause is "justified" by the fact that his wife is guilty of cheating on him...Milland develops a carefully constructed murder plan, contacting Captain Lesgate John Williams , an old college classmate operating illegal ventures, to whom he outlines his murder scheme and then blackmails into carrying it out... The movie takes off from there as an intense character battle between three different characters... Tony, done by Ray Milland in outstanding performance, is icily <more>
intense and incredibly wild. He is easily the best of the three... Grace Kelly & Robert Cummings both pale in comparison, although Grace is slightly better, for the merely reason that her character is left for to do the least amount of truly suspenseful acting...The murder is set up and is deliciously evil: The defining moment is when Ray Milland wipes clean every object he touches as he explains to Anthony Dawson how to carry out the murder of his adulterous wife, thus not incriminating himself... They discuss the closing of the screen door to the porch, the placement of the golden key, and the time it will take his woman to answer the distracting phone call...Grace Kelly is the smart but vulnerable Margot... She begins her role dressed in bright crimson reds but as the film progresses and finds herself accused, her outfits become darker... Kelly is ingénue enough to be sympathetic but also tough enough to be respected... Her most memorable image was on the phone, oblivious to the assassin behind her... Robert Cummings does not fare at all because of his comical face... He is the weakest cast member bringing so little to the table... John Williams is excellent as the dangerous murder weapon tricked by a clever scoundrel... but he somewhere along makes one fatal mistake...Anthony Dawson is absolutely brilliant, delightful as the eccentric Chief Inspector watching how the easy-talking husband is trying to cover his tracks... As soon as he arrives on scene to investigate the murder, there's an instant feeling of electricity... Here's a guy who can read human nature from a mile away... He takes compassion on Kelly, but unfortunately, the two don't partner up as in cop buddy movies...The film, however, belongs to the sinister Ray Milland, the cold logic husband who designs the murder to look like a routine burglary gone wrong, and leads Scotland Yard into believing his wife is guilty of deliberate murder...Milland, a genteel charmer with an icy murderous side, is perfect as Tony Wendice... If ever there was a demonstration of venality, Milland's Tony Wendice was it: courteous on the outside, devious on the inside... We see his cheery domestic manner with his wife... He blithely sends her out for the evening with her lover, then without breaking his stride sits down at the telephone and calls Swan, the man he intends to enlist for the murder... There is something chilling about the way in which Milland operates in these scenes: Once Swan arrives, the polite smile never leaves Milland's face as he switches gears from exchanging pleasantries to blackmail and murder.. The entire scene was shot from the ceiling...'Dial M for Murder' holds its grip pretty well... Hitchcock provides the tension in many directorial tricks: Margot's unexpected change in plans for the evening; a hiding place for a key blocked by Mark at a critical moment; a stopped watch; an occupied telephone box; Margot's wavering hand holding the telephone that almost blocks Swan's access to her neck; Tony taking the key out of Swan's pocket and even briefing his wife what to tell the police...'Dial M for Murder' is a classic stage murder thriller... It never reaches the heights that 'Rear Window' did, but it has to be one of the most brilliant stage thrillers ever written... The score, composed by Dimitri Tiomkin, is both eerie & precarious..."Dial M for Murder" is a film that makes you pay attention. It is a definite must-see!
"Do you really believe in the perfect murder? " (by Galina_movie_fan)
The hit Broadway play by Frederick Knott "Dial M for Murder" has been adapted to the screen several times, including the films made in West Germany and Sweden, as well as a TV movie in 1981 TV by Boris Seagal and the film "A Perfect Murder" 1998 directed by Andrew Davis with Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen. Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 adaptation was the first and certainly the best one even if the master himself considered it one of his lesser efforts. "Dial M for Murder" will be remembered as Hitchcock's first color film and the <more>
first of three thrillers he had made with Grace Kelly, the future Princess of Monaco, in the prime of her beauty and her talent. Using color proved to be very effective in the film. The first two scenes featuring Kelly wearing a white morning dress in the idyllic scene with her husband Tony and right after that kissing passionately her American lover, writer Robert Cummings in the red dress, immediately, without many words tell the viewer that the story of passion, deception, betrayal, and ultimately, murder will follow. Ray Milland Tony Wendice is a surprisingly sympathetic villain which is perhaps not surprising from the actor with talent, charm, and charisma that equal and remind a lot of both Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart who knows about his wife cheating and decides to teach her a lesson by plotting a very clever murder which will make him a sole heir to her money she is a wealthy one in the family . His plan is perfect and almost works but Margot managed to not only escape the murderer but to turn the table on him while stunned Wendice is on the phone and listens how his well thought of plan collapses. Wendice is very resourceful and he proved to be a master of improvisation because it took him a few minutes in a cab to switch to a plan B that turned a terrified victim Margot into a cold-blooded murderess. Now it is up to seasoned and shrewd inspector Hubbard John Williams to find the crucial piece of evidence and to solve the case.As always with Hitchcock, his directing is impeccable, the camera rarely leaves Wendice's apartment but the film is never claustrophobic which is the case for many plays' adaptation. It breathes and moves freely and we almost forget that we are in the same room for close to two hours. I would not call "Dial M for Murder" my favorite Hitchcock's film but it is enjoyable, clever, and witty thriller with the interesting twists, outstanding performances, and more than one truly memorable scenes.
What gets me about this film every time I see it is just how simple it is. The witty urbanity of the dialogue goes without saying hem , the acting is stagily impeccable, and the direction by Hitchcock is limited by the small sets but masterful for all that.Cold Ray Milland plans and sets up the murder of his demure but faithless wife Grace Kelly by a virtual stranger who is urged on by the stick of exposure of his misdeeds and the carrot of GBP1,000 in used notes. Of course all of his convoluted plans go horribly or thankfully wrong, depending on your point of view, leading to an even more <more>
convoluted revised plan. When first seen when young I wasted my time because I wasn't paying attention at the critical moment so missed the point and didn't get it: the key is how did the baddie get into the apartment? It's incredibly verbose, being from a stage play after all and at times it seems nothing more than a radio show with pictures. The long scene setting and verbal sparring by Milland and Anthony Dawson is superb to hear - it's fascinating for its relentless poetry, and of displaying a now-dead world. I could never understand the attraction of 3D movies, least of all with this particular attempt, or why Kelly was continually uglified by the Hollywood machine when she never looked lovelier than in here when she was playing stressed out throughout.I wonder if Hitch remembered the jokey murder scene he did in 1930 in Elstree Calling when Jameson Thomas realised he was murdering in the wrong apartment? Turn that key you have and go in, it's a remarkably literate film and as intricate inside as any lock.