#56 / 365 – ‘Dial M for Murder’ (1954) – 105 mins
IMDb Challenge #32 / 250 – Ranked #211 – Via Sky Movies
Margot Wendice (Grace Kelly) is framed for murder when she stabs the hitman hired by her cuckolded husband, Tony (Ray Milland). However, he hadn’t counted on the tenacity of her whodunit-writing lover, Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings) and Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) of Scotland Yard.
Adapted from Frederick Knott’s successful West End and Broadway play, Dial M For Murder is another fabulous Hitchcock one-room murder mystery, firstly done with ‘Rope’ and then the unparalleled ‘Rear Window’ which was also shot and released in the same year of 1954. In true Hitchcock fashion the pleasure of the film comes from intricacies of the plot, where nothing is simple and it really is an exercise workout for the brain as you follow the latchkey.
Ray Milland portrays great malice as the plotting Husband who coolly try’s to pull off the perfect crime. Subsequently this was stylishly remade in 1998 in the aptly titled ‘A Perfect Murder’ starring Michael Douglas in the title role, but isn’t a patch on this classic mystery. Grace Kelly is smart but vulnerable as Margot where its always a delight to watch the exquisite fairytale princess on the screen.
For some unknown reason of all the Hitchcock tales that I have watched, Dial M For Murder as always slipped under the radar – but I am glad I have watched it now.