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Dial M for Murder: An Alfred Hitchcock favorite

Updated on June 17, 2015
Dial M for Murder. An Alfred Hitchcock film
Dial M for Murder. An Alfred Hitchcock film | Source

Dial M for Murder: A review of Alfred Hitchcock's suspense movie

They say that there are many fine products that improve with age and that is certainly the case with some of the classic films. This is a great example. Last night, when we were choosing what to watch from our DVD collection, Dial M for Murder was the winner - it was so good to see it again.

The Hitchcock touch

Alfred Hitchcock had a way of invoking terror in even the most ordinary locations - he was the master of turning an ordinary place into one of fear and suspense. In Dial M for Murder, almost all the action takes place in a London apartment.

The Hitchcock twist on a not-so-unusual plot

Some of his plots have been incredibly complex and in a way, this is no exception. But the basic premise is a very familiar one. A rich woman,played by Grace Kelly (Margot), is married to a former athlete (Tony) but - she also has a lover (Mark). Her husband decides that her death would make him a free - and rich - man. Yes, a very simple plot.

But the master director is at work

The moment you know that this is a Hitchcock film, you know that it's going to be full of suspense. You are guaranteed twists and turns in the plot. You know that the acting is going to be superb and that you're going to have a fabulous experience.


Whodunnit?

In the days this film was made (1954) the 'whodunnit' was very popular - in film, on stage and in novels. In almost every case, the villain is revealed in the last scene or chapter.

In this film, we know whodunit - or at least, who's going to do it - almost from the beginning. This truly adds to the suspense.

A beautiful corpse

Will Grace Kelly become a gorgeous corpse?

Or will she, along with her lover, turn the tables? Wait - this is Hitchcock so you know it's going to more complicated than that.

The perfect murder with the unshakable alibi?

You'll see....

The trailer

Watch the trailer of this wonderful film in the video below.

The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection (Strangers on a Train Two-Disc Edition / North by Northwest / Dial M for Murder / Foreign Correspondent / Suspicion / The Wrong Man / Stage Fright / I Confess / Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection (Strangers on a Train Two-Disc Edition / North by Northwest / Dial M for Murder / Foreign Correspondent / Suspicion / The Wrong Man / Stage Fright / I Confess / Mr. and Mrs. Smith)

Want more? I'm not surprised because every one of the director's films can be watched over and over again. This is a wonderful boxed set of nine DVDs featuring a selection of his best.

This is a must for the Hitchcock fan and makes an excellent gift for any movie lover.

 

Planning a murder

I've often thought that if you had a foolproof way to commit a great crime, you'd be better making it into a book or film than actually doing it.

In this movie, had Tony planned the perfect murder? It seemed foolproof and his preparation and planning were meticulous. He prepared well in advance.

Of course, he decided that he wouldn't actually perform the act but would get someone else to do it. Unwittingly, his wife provided the financial means to do that.

But how to ensure that the hired help won't squeal? Oh, he had prepared for that too. He also knew that a murder victim's spouse is often the first suspect in these cases so he had to provide a motive for the murder. Yep, that box was checked too.

How can he be sure that his wife would be in the right place at the right time? No problem

Then of course, there's the all important matter of an alibi. Who better to provide this than his wife's lover? That way, both men would be in the clear and even with the most thorough investigations it would be unlikely that a woman's husband and her lover would provide alibis for each other.

So far, so good.

When things didn't go exactly as he'd planned, he still had a plan B.

Would he get away with the perfect murder?

Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies
Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies

I was reluctant to read this book. It is the third book this author has written on the subject and allegedly it reveals information gleaned from interviews by those who knew him, particularly leading ladies.

However, he had promised them that the information would not be revealed during their lifetimes....

 

A still from Dial M for Murder

Source

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @PAINTDRIPS: So many of his movies were so brilliant - I find it hard to choose.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      Nice review. I think my favorite Hitchcock movie is Spellbound. That Ingrid Burgman, what an icon. I think it is also great that the artist Salvador Dali designed the dream sequence for the movie. So cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Outstanding movie. One of Hitchcock's best.

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 4 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      It's a while since I've seen it. Hitchcock is one of my favourites.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: I really think you'd enjoy it, Rose. The way the plot twists is really unexpected.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      I haven't seen this one (yet). Sounds like another Hitchcock classic.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Joebeducci: Enjoy!

    • Joebeducci profile image

      Joebeducci 4 years ago

      One of the few Hitchcock masterpieces I haven't seen yet, I'm gonna watch it soon! :) Greets, Joebeducci

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @LisaAuch1: I agree :)

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 4 years ago from Scotland

      I gotta see this!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @aka-rms: Me too. I think it was my grandmother who first introduced me to his work - probably at an age when I was far too young to have been watching them :)

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Love Hitchcock!

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