Dial M for Murder (April, 9)

I've watched Dial M for Murder a couple of decades ago. I remember that I enjoyed it, it is indeed a good thriller, but the only scene that stuck to my memory was the attempt murder by the phone. So  I reached this Hitchcock movie almost as if I've never seen it before. 

This is one of the lighter Hitchcock's productions, along movies as Rear Window and To Catch a Thief (both immediately following Dial M...), and it is equally amazing, despite my least favorite one in comparison to the other two. The suspense is beautifully built, details in production are once more a Hitchcock's forte, but the psychological aspect loses space to the simple look at human venom. 

Dialogues are great here, with an almost theater feeling. Almost the whole movie revolves around one set (or its immediate surroundings), with few people acting at the same time (except maybe for the last take). The pursuit for perfection cost Hitchcock in the scissor scene (as we can read on imdb.com trivia). He was a sucker for perfection, and that's why he was and will be a masterful filmmaker.

I was not too happy with the casting, is a little weak on the part of the villain. Grace Kelly is always a joy, despite her character being a bit too dependent. I'd rather see her in Rear Window in a clever partnership with James Stewart. 

I was happy to reach this movie again. It is worthy a rerun from time to time, as the majority of Hitchcock's movies. 

Dial M for Murder. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Grace Kelly, Ray Milliand,
Robert Cummings. USA, 1954, Mono, Color, 105 min.

PS: A friend has been telling me how I should see Rear Window during my forced time on a wheel's chair. I told her that I've saw it already (four ou five times actually) and that I love this movie. The funny thing is, if confronted by the same situation, this friend and I wouldn't act differently from Lisa (Grace Kelly) and Stella (Thelma Ritter), a smart and funny duo.


  1. I really like Rear Window, but somehow this one excited me a bit more, as far as I remember. Maybe it's that theatrical essence you mentioned here, for me it really works as a narrative aid. I guess there's also something special, and very well executed, about being stuck in that apartment for most of the film's length, it builds up anxiety in both character and audience – which also happens in Rear Window. I like the story of this one more, though. However, I must agree with you, that Lisa & Stella duo is quite charming and lovable! At least we get to see Grace Kelly either way :)

    I'm hoping we can arrange a Hitchcock movie session soon. Would love to watch some of his work together. Maybe one that none of us has seen yet. How about that?

    [ j ]

    1. Both movies are great entertainments, I guess - good mystery films by Hitchcock, but not too dark. He was a master of enclosed spaces, he really was.
      Your idea is great! Some sugestions are: I Confess, with Montgomery Cliff (I wasn't aware that he had worked with Hitchcock) and Stage Fright I haven't seen. Under Capricorn, Frenzy, Marnie and Vertigo I'd like to see again. We could also reach his first feature, The Lodger: A history of the London Fog!