Dial M for Murder

Dial M for Murder

4.1 14
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings

     
 

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The only Alfred Hitchcock film originally lensed in 3-D, Dial M for Murder is presented on this DVD in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the

Overview

The only Alfred Hitchcock film originally lensed in 3-D, Dial M for Murder is presented on this DVD in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the theatrical trailer and a making-of documentary about the film. This fine disc is also available as part of the nine-disc Alfred Hitchcock: The Signature Collection.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tony Nigro
Unassuming in its brilliance, Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954) is an ingenious thriller too often overlooked. Released the same year that gave us Rear Window, Dial M is no less a great Hitchcock film than the Jimmy Stewart vehicle that followed it, if only for the reason that its intricate drama also plays out pitch perfectly in one room. Ray Milland is Tony Wendice, a devious and jealous (though sympathetic) sophisticate who, we learn early on, has palns for the "perfect murder" of his rich and lovely (though unfaithful) wife, Margot, played by Grace Kelly. The film's first act breaks murder mystery laws to detail precisely how the act should be played out; but Wendice's plan fails to anticipate Margot's ability to defend herself, and only the man assigned to kill her winds up dead. From there the story is a pure joy of Hitchcockian cat-and-mouse, as Margot's lover, Mark (Robert Cummings), and Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) each become more and more involved in the resulting investigation, while Wendice maneuvers to frame his wife for murder. Adapted by Frederick Knott from his popular stage play, Dial M appears simple: There are some fantastic performances, particularly by Milland, and the movie feels very much like a play, devoid of Hitch's filmic flare. But great subtleties are at work. Even in the film's stagy environs, it never feels claustrophobic -- unlike Rear Window, which did and was supposed to -- and the suspense created by Hitchcock's mastery of visual language is, as usual, undeniable. Additionally, the movie succumbed to the trends of its times and was ordered to be shot in 3-D -- yes, the kind you watch with red-and-blue glasses. Nonetheless, in Dial M objects don't fly toward the audience as they do in a more kitschy flick like House of Wax. Instead, Hitchcock saves his gimmickry for a few key moments, using 3-D's shock value as, well, shock value rather than showy effect. The result serves the story in the classiest of ways, so that the movie plays equally well in its traditional 2-D. (The DVD releases here, sadly, are not offered in 3-D.) Though not as grandiose a Hitch outing as the later North by Northwest or Psycho, Dial M for Murder holds firm ground and deserves to be seen alongside the artist's other, hallowed masterpieces.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Alfred's Hitchcock's adaptation of Frederick Knott's play is hardly the director at his best, though it remains an above-average suspense-melodrama with a typically Hitchcockian villain. It focuses on the efforts of Ray Milland's character, an idler who fears that his wealthy wife might leave him and wants her murdered so that he might inherit her money. The machinery of the play is standard but enjoyable in its tight construction, with only the business of the key being of dubious plausibility. Its most compelling element is Milland's character, who has shades of Cary Grant in Suspicion (1941) and Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train (1951). Most memorable is an ugly scene in which he blackmails an old "friend" into agreeing to kill his wife, played by Grace Kelly. Milland is near the top of his game here, and John Williams turns in his usual fine performance as the wily Scotland Yard inspector. Kelly, and Robert Cummings as her lover, are forced to contend with underwritten stock characters. Neither comes off particularly well.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/07/2004
UPC:
0085391115625
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
6,830

Special Features

Closed Caption; New documentaries "Hitchcock and Dial M" and "3D: A Brief History"; Theatrical trailer; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français, & Español

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ray Milland Tom Wendice
Grace Kelly Margot Wendice
Robert Cummings Mark Halliday
John Williams Chief Inspector Hubbard
Anthony Dawson Captain Swan Lesgate
Patrick Allen Detective Pearson
Leo Britt The Storyteller
George Leigh William
George Alderson The Detective
Robin Hughes A Police Sergeant
Guy Doleman Detective
Sam Harris Man in Phone Booth
Thayer Roberts Detective
Jack Cunningham Bobby

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director,Producer
Gordon Bau Makeup
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Edward Carrere Art Director
Mel Dellar Asst. Director
Rudi Fehr Editor
Oliver S. Garretson Sound/Sound Designer
George James Hopkins Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Frederick Knott Screenwriter
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits. [1:07]
2. Blackmail Note. [5:45]
3. Tony Bows Out. [1:55]
4. Calling About a Car. [2:03]
5. Schools (and Hitchcock) Photo. [3:00]
6. What Tony Saw. [4:57]
7. Your Word Against Mine. [5:33]
8. Murder Plan. [5:27]
9. Key Player Paid. [3:17]
10. Purse Snatcher. [5:55]
11. Running Late. [3:09]
12. Murder Calling. [4:28]
13. Ghastly Accident. [3:47]
14. Improvising a Frame-Up. [3:01]
15. Intermission. [:46]
16. Chief Inspector Hubbard. [5:19]
17. Reenacting the Crime. [3:29]
18. Wendice's Web of Evidence. [4:01]
19. Hubbard's Question. [4:51]
20. Guilty. [1:02]
21. Mark's Murder Scenario. [5:37]
22. Troublesome Latchkeys. [3:03]
23. Incriminating Attaché Case. [5:50]
24. Tony's Out, Hubbard's In. [5:48]
25. Key to the Case. [2:40]
26. Hubbard Explains It All. [4:56]
27. The Trap Is Sprung. [2:48]
28. Drinking in Defeat. [1:31]

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Dial M for Murder 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic Hitchcock thriller starring the director's favorite leading lady Grace Kelly, this film is loaded with drama as well as creative twists and turns. The story of a man who has decided to murder his unfaithful wife by coercing a criminal acquaintance into breaking into their apartment and strangling her, instantly draws the audience in and as the plot thickens when his plans are suddenly thwarted things really get interesting. The cast is amazing with Kelly and Ray Milland playing the leads and comedic actor Robert Cummings well cast as the charming home wrecker. Another noteworthy aspect of this film is that it is one of the few Hitchcock movies that's filmed like a stage play. But as with Rear Window it works very well with this particular plot line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautifully cast, wonderfully directed, perfectly executed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray Milland and Grace Kelly play an unhappily married couple in this Hitchcock thriller. Kelly has been unfaithful with an American writer played by Robert Cummings. Milland finds out but doesn't let on. He decides he wants his wealthy wife dead. Watch this one for a surprise ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray Milland and Grace Kelly star as an unhappily married couple living in London. Milland, playing retired tennis star Tony Wendice, finds out his wife has cheated on him with an American writer. He contacts a shady acquaintance from his university days and employs him to murder his wife. If the plot works, Milland will inherit his wealthy wife's money. Poor Grace Kelly, what horrors await.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the director at his best. Ray Milland is brillant as the villian as Grace Kelly is beautiful. Certainly worth buying.
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