5.0 out of 5 stars I watch this alot
The policeman is in many British movies, The plot is great, the build up cunning and all actors are great. Hmmm, gotta go and watch it again.
Published 11 months ago by Remember Amer. Bandstand
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable But Mild
Although Hitchcock's version of the popular play was considered a shocker in its day, repetition of the story in so many versions has made the story itself seem rather tame: a husband, angered by his wife's affair and in desperate need of money, blackmails an acquaintance to murder her--but his plans go awry when his wife kills her attacker in self-defense.
Published on Feb. 13 2002 by Gary F. Taylor
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars Not hitchcock's best,...but still a very good film,...,
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Hitchcock with an enchanting Grace Kelly,
This is certainly one of Hitchcock's best, but most of the credit must go to a devilishly clever play written by Frederick Knott from which he adapted the screenplay. (He also wrote the play upon which Wait Until Dark (1967) starring Audrey Hepburn was based.) Hitchcock does a good job in not tinkering unnecessarily with the material. He also has the exquisitely beautiful Grace Kelly to play the part of Margot Wendice.
Ray Milland plays, with a kind of high-toned Brit panache, her diabolical husband, Tony Wendice, a one-time tennis star who married mostly for security. John Williams is the prim and proper Chief Inspector Hubbard. He lends to the part a bit of Sherlock Holmesian flair. One especially liked his taking a moment to comb his mustache after the case is solved. Robert Cummings, unfortunately plays Margot's American boyfriend as inventively as a sawhorse. For those of you who might have blinked, Hitchcock makes his traditional appearance in the photo on the wall from Tony Wendice's undergraduate days.
The fulcrum of the plot is the latchkey. It is the clue that (literally) unlocks the mystery. There is a modernized redoing of this movie called A Perfect Murder (1998) starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow in which a similar business with latchkeys is employed. I am not very good with clues so it was only after seeing that movie and Dial M for Murder for the second time that I finally understood what happened. Follow the latchkey!
Of course I was too distracted by Grace Kelly to fully appreciate such intricacies. I found myself struck with the ironic notion that anyone, even a cuckolded husband, might want to kill Grace Kelly or that a jury might find her guilty of anything! She remains in my psyche America's fairytale princess who quit Hollywood at the height of her popularity after only five years and eleven movies to become a real princess by marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco. Something was lost there, and something was gained. She was in essence the original Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I think, however, that the old saw about the man who marries for money, earning it, might apply to American princesses as well.
At any rate, Grace Kelly's cool and sublime bearing was on fine display here. Hitchcock cloths her in discreet nightgowns and fitted (but certainly not clinging) dresses that show off her delicate figure and her exquisite arms and hint coyly at her subtle sexuality. She was 25-years-old, stunningly beautiful, and in full confidence of her ability as an actress. She had just finished starring opposite James Stewart in another splendid Hitchcock one-room mystery, Rear Window (1954), and was about to make The Country Girl (1954) with Bing Crosby for which she would win an Oscar for Best Actress.
So see this for Grace Kelly who makes Gwyneth Paltrow (whom I adore) look downright gawky, and for Ray Milland whose urbane scheming seems a layer or two of hell removed from Michael Douglas's evil manipulations.
By the way, the "original theatrical trailer" preceding these Warner Brothers Classic videos is what we used to call the "Coming Attractions"--that is, clips directly from the movie and a promo. You might want to fast forward to the movie itself.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dial "M" for Murder,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Dial E for Excellence,
The flaws of the films are a slight stiffness. There are two reasons for this. 'Dial M for Murder' was originally a play and most of the action takes place in one room. Necessary on a static stage, but limiting and unnatural in a film. It was also shot in 3D at the insistence, and against Hitchcock's objections, of the studios. Since the cameras necessary for 3D were bulky and difficult to manoeuvre, there is a lack of fluidity that adds to the feeling that you are watching a play rather than a film, even if it is an excellent play. However, Hitchcock still manages to produce good cinema. His slow build-up to the attempted murder scene and its thrilling climax is to see the master at his best.
A wonderful film that never bores and often startles. Not quite "up there" with Hitchcock's best, but an excellent film nevertheless.
5.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobically Good,
An ex-tennis player who is now having some money problems hire an ex-school mate to kill his wealthy and not faithfull wife so he can receive her heritage. The complex plan is detailed set, but he doesn't count on one suprise: she is not killed, instead she can kill the assassin. To make things worse she accused of murdering. From this moment on the film becomes a mouse and cat game trying to prove her innocent.
The cast is small but perfect. Grace Kelly plays the ingenous wife with so much beauty and dignity that it is impossible not to fall for her. On the other hand, it is impossible no to repulse her husband, perfectly played by Ray Milland. He is so false and disgusting that everybody roots for him get discovered. The script is perfect: everything makes sense and everything is in its right place.
Hitchcock's direction is irrepressible. Even though it is based on play and suffer from some problems, as I aforementioned. The plot is so interesting and catching, that these 'problems' get invisible through the movie. Moreover, hsi peculiar sense of humor makes the film lighter and better to watch. The murdering scene is amazing, and I suggest you not to even blink, in order not to lose any moment of this sequence. The after-murdering develops in a incredible speed, Grace's trial is one of the most inventive of the cinema. Pay attention to her expressions and body movement during this specific scene.
This film has been remade a couple of times. I suggest you to check "A Perfect Murder" featuring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow. Both movies have the same premisse, but are led to different consequences. And the two films are good in their own way.
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable But Mild,
Both Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings, as the faithless wife and her mild-mannered lover, give enjoyable performances, but the real success of the film is Ray Milland, who brings a slightly oily charm to his role of murderous husband. Hitchcock's approach to the material is somewhat hampered by the fact that the film was originally shot in 3-D, and although the scene in which star Grace Kelly confronts her attacker is justly famous, the film is essentially a meticulous recreation of the stage success rather than a Hitchcock original.
Although familiarity with the material robs if of impact, most viewers will find Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER entertaining in an old-fashioned sort of way. For myself, I wish the film could be released to videotape or DVD in the original 3-D format, so we might see how effectively Hitchcock handled the requirements of the form. It might very well breathe new life into an old favorite.
4.0 out of 5 stars Has lost none of its power,
Ray wants her dead, partially for the money so he hires an old school chum (well, blackmails him, really) to do the job, shows him where the key will be...and things go wrong from there.
Not one of the Master's usual "wrong man" scenarios, but stunning nonetheless. I saw this one on a Warner Bros. "Night at the Movies" series videotape. It included two newsreels and a Daffy Duck cartoon.
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie should be on DVD!!!,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A minimalist classic,
The acting is uniformly top-notch, but Ray Milland steals the show with his low-key performance as the murderous husband. Milland's subtle, shifting expressions let you see his alternating smugness and fear.
Hitchcock's direction is a little peculiar in places. Partly this is because the film was shot in 3-D. I've only seen it in 2-D, but Hitchcock sometimes placed something in the foreground and had the action take place in the background to enhance the depth of the cinemaphotography. I'm sure the 3-D audiences oohed and ahhed at this effect, but in 2-D it introduces a somewhat distancing effect. Also, there was one part of the film with a couple of quick edits as if covering a mistake in the filming. Still, Hitchcock's talent shines through as he keeps you engrossed in the action. It's great fun -- don't miss it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot, precision and no pretension whatsoever,
Dial M for Murder is seen as one of Hitchcock’s weaker films because of its complete lack of pretension – I guess it’s just what constitutes your taste in films. A lot of people dislike this film because it is plot-driven and not, dare I say it, arty and high-brow, but don’t think that means it is devoid of creativity. Though it is set almost entirely within one flat, Hitchcock far exceeds the limitations placed upon such a setting. The tension created by the camera circling Grace Kelly when she is on the phone is intense, the frequently astounding camera shots that swoop in from the other side of the room to extreme close-ups of, for example, keys, are ingenious instruments of plot-progression, and the top-down soon-to-die shot as the murder is planned is definitely worthy of note. If you want the camera to tell the story, then this isn’t the film for you, but if you’re okay with the idea of a film that contains – God forbid – dialogue, and intelligent, stirring, rip-roaring, rousing dialogue at that, then Dial M For Murder is the perfect movie.
I would recommend this film to virtually everyone. If you like the theatre or reading books or listening to radio plays, you’ll like this. If you like plot-based movies, you’ll love this one – it could teach today’s films a thing or two about substance. If you like dialogue-based films like anything by Quentin Tarantino, Polanski’s Chinatown or The Usual Suspects, you’ll like Dial M For Murder. If you’ve ever watched more than one episode of Colombo, you will love it. If you like Grace Kelly, you’ll like this. But (and it’s a big but) if you prefer action and explosions to plot, Jean-Luc Goddard to Robert Zemeckis, avant-garde to Hollywood or the second half of Titanic to the first, then you’d probably be best giving this film a miss.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Dial M for Murder by Laurent Bouzereau (DVD - 2004)