"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, January 12, 2008

SNMR 4.9: "Dial M for Murder"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Dial M for Murder" (1954, PG, 105 minutes) starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams and Anthony Dawson. The film was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

I watched this movie last night for the second time. I'd watch it again and have put it on one of my wish lists. Aaaah, one of these days I'll add this to my DVD collection.

PLOT SUMMARY: Alfred Hitchcock's screen version of Frederick Knott's stage hit "Dial M for Murder" is a tasty blend of elegance and suspense casting Grace Kelly (Margot Mary Wendice), Ray Milland (Tony Wendice) and Robert Cummings (Mark Halliday) as the points of a romantic triangle. She loves Halliday; Betrayed, her husband Wendice carefully and meticulously plots her murder because of it. But when his plans go all wrong, he tries to cover for it on the fly and then we learn that even the best cover up artist can make mistakes.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE: This has quickly become my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film. The story is excellent and the direction is spectacular. Ray Milland is deliciously meticulous and evil in his plotting. Grace Kelly gives another excellent performance and would have had more of a brilliant career, had she stuck with acting and not given it up to become the Princess of Monaco. There have been other movies made since that have a similar storyline, the most recent I can recall being "A Perfect Murder" (1998) with Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen, but none compare to this original classic.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS FILM: Robert Cummings gives a credible performance as the third wheel in the love triangle but could have been better. I think it's hilarious to watch the way stars kissed on screen in the 1950's. These "Hollywood kisses" are stiff and unconvincing. Also, I find it tacky and all too convenient that the victim, while trying to remove the scissors from his back, falls on them to push them deeper into his body.

***** out of *****



At 14 January, 2008 17:31, Blogger Joel Gunz said...

Hi there -

"Dial M" is one of my favorites as well - I hope you got the added pleasure of seeing the film as it was originally shot - in 3D! (Maybe the only single-set film ever shot in 3D.)

As far as those screen kisses go, remember that Hitch's "Notorious" set the record for Longest Screen Kiss between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The staginess of the "Dial M" kisses, in my view, point to the characters' forced, inauthentic relationships.



At 14 January, 2008 19:05, Blogger green said...

jg: Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! New readers and commenters are always appreciated!

I think the stiff 1950's kisses are more a sign of the times than from forced, inauthentic relationships.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see this film in 3D. Was it better in that format?

Either way, a fantastic picture.

At 14 January, 2008 20:07, Blogger Joel Gunz said...

Hey there - you have a great blog.

For a better Grace Kelly smooch in a Hitchcock movie, check out her work in 1954's "To Catch a Thief." ;)

"Dial M" in 3D is a real treat. The only "sensational" 3D image is when Kelly seems to reach into the audience to grab the scissors when she's being attacked. The rest of the time the effects are very subtle, and Hitch seemed to use it to give the film a voyeuristic feel as if one were an "invisible" presence in the room. When it ran at the art house theater here in Portland, Oregon, I went every night for a week, because I knew I might not see it again for a while. After the third night they started letting me in for free. Sweet.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home