June 24, 2009

Summer of Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder

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Dial M for Murder

Margot (Grace Kelly) is married to washed up Wimbledon champ Tony (Ray Milland) but having an affair with an American crime writer named Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). Margot decides to break off the relationship with Mark after a love letter is stolen and she is blackmailed by an anonymous letter writer.

Meanwhile Tony has the love letter and enlists the the help of an old school acquaintance, Mr Swan (Anthony Dawson), to murder Margot. Margot has loads of money and if she runs off with Mark, he's broke. Better to kill his wife before she has the chance and keep her money for himself. Tony makes himself an alibi by taking Mark to The Most Boring Stag Party Ever and leaves Margot at home to face her doom.

Things go awry for Tony when Margot gets stabby with a pair of scissors and kills Swan. Now Tony has to make sure there are no clues to his part in this mess before Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) gets wise. Margot gets in hot water when the love letter is found on the body. Will Margot be saved in time?

This is a very entertaining movie even though we barely leave the couple's apartment. Tony is super suave as he bullies Swan into agreeing to murder. He tells him a creepy and personal story of his wife's infidelity. "Dude, why are you telling me this?" "Well, I want you to murder her, old boy." He's as cool as a cucumber. Beautiful Grace gets to wear some awesome dresses. I loved the clothes! And that stabbing scene gives me the willies. But the character I liked the best was the inspector. I loved how he figured it all out, although I thought he was leaving things go on a little too long.

This DVD included extras like commentary by modern filmmakers including M. Night Shyamalan. Very interesting. I enjoyed hearing them discuss details like the colour of Grace's clothes and the shift in sympathy from character to character.

Dial M for Murder was remade as A Perfect Murder with Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas in the 1990s. I remember seeing this and I think there were some major changes. It was entertainng but not as good as Dial M.

Next up if Rear Window, which I have seen already (yay!), I have a plan for that post so please come back next week!

8 comments :

  1. I'm going to surprise everyone and participate in this one of these weeks!

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  2. We just saw TO CATCH A THIEF, with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Fabulous Hitchcock. And I have no idea how my daughter figured out whodunnit so early on!

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  3. I would really like a copy of this with the dvd extras - I've been lusting after the deluxe Hitchcock collection!

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  4. Onion- I think you should!

    Karen- I think I saw that one a long time ago.

    Joanne- I got this one from the library. I love extras too.

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  5. Great review! "Dude, why are you telling me this?" made me lawl. :D

    Also, great call on the Most Boring Stag Party Evar. I didn't even notice that, but that part DID have to be insanely boring. Way to show the American a good time in London, Tony!

    And Grace's clothes are fab. I think my favorite outfit is the one she wears for the murder. Whenever I see it, I'm like, "Why is she wearing a dress to bed? Oh, that's a nightgown." :P Really, really nice nightgown, though! I want. :)

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  6. Heidenkind- Yeah, my 80 yr old mil has more rockin' parties than that stag!

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  7. LOVE that movie. I'm not sure why they're remaking all the classic Hitchcock movies, none are anything as good or as well done as the originals. Suburbia??? Please.

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  8. I just saw this one recently and I thought it was pretty brilliant. I guess Hitchcock was really interested in the idea of "the perfect murder", and this was one example of it. Even though the husband was totally and completely a jerk, I still kind of admired him for how quickly he thought through things. I don't know, that sounds horrible! But I guess I just didn't emotionally connect with any of the characters very much.

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