Dial M for Murder (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dial M for Murder (1954)



Critic Consensus: Dial M for Murder may be slightly off-peak Hitchcock, but by any other standard, it's a sophisticated, chillingly sinister thriller -- and one that boasts an unforgettable performance from Grace Kelly to boot.

Dial M for Murder Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Based on the popular mystery play by Frederick Knott, Dial M For Murder is more talky and stagebound than most Hitchcock films, but no less enjoyable. British tennis pro Ray Milland suspects that his wealthy wife Grace Kelly is fooling around with handsome American Robert Cummings. Milland blackmails a disgraced former army comrade (Anthony Dawson) into murdering Kelly and making it look like the work of a burglar. But Milland's carefully mapped-out scheme does not take into account the notion that Kelly might fight back and kill her assailant. When the police (represented by John Williams) investigate, Milland improvises quickly, subtly planting the suggestion that his wife has committed first-degree murder. He almost gets away with it; to tell you more would spoil the fun of the film's final thirty minutes. Hitchcock claimed that he chose this single-set play because he was worn out from several earlier, more ambitious projects, and wanted to "recharge his batteries." Compelled by Warner Bros. to film Dial M for Murder in 3-D, Hitchcock perversely refused to throw in the standard in-your-face gimmickry of most stereoscopic films of the era--though watch how he visually emphasizes an important piece of evidence towards the end of the film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: PG
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Frederick Knott
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 2004
Warner Bros. Pictures


Ray Milland
as Tony Wendice
Grace Kelly
as Margot Mary Wendice
Robert Cummings
as Mark Halliday
John Williams (II)
as Chief Inspector Hubb...
Anthony Dawson
as Capt. Swan Lesgate
Leo Britt
as The Narrator
George Leigh
as William
George Alderson
as The Detective
Robin Hughes
as Police Sergeant
Alfred Hitchcock
as Man in Photo
Guy Doleman
as Detective
Sam Harris
as Man in Phone Booth
Thayer Roberts
as Detective
Sam Harris
as Man in Phone Booth
John Williams
as Chief Inspector Hubb...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dial M for Murder

Critic Reviews for Dial M for Murder

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (7)

The fun of Dial M lies in its duel of wits...

Full Review… | August 24, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Dial M is less a filmed play than a highly cinematic investigation of theatricality.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Dial M remains more of a filmed play than a motion picture, unfortunately revealed as a conversation piece about murder which talks up much more suspense than it actually delivers.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Top Critic

The screenplay tends to constrain rather than liberate Hitchcock's thematic thrust, but there is much of technical value in his geometric survey of the scene and the elaborate strategies employed to transfer audience sympathy among the main characters.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It all moves along in a rather efficient if lifeless fashion, with only John Williams shining as a canny police detective.

Full Review… | January 4, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

The movie is worth seeing even now, if for no other aim than to show a man ambitiously experimenting with the devious facets that would inspire greater films.

Full Review… | November 25, 2015

Audience Reviews for Dial M for Murder

Very slow to start, really found myself quite bored. Picks up a little with the "murder", but still wouldn't call it riveting viewing.
Though classic movies are far from my favourite, there are definitely much better ones out there.
I was interested to see Grace Kelly act as I have heard a lot about her over the years. I was kind of underwhelmed. She's a nice looking woman, but not the most beautiful ever and not an extremely convincing actress either.
This was okay.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Based on a play, so it comes with limitations, but slow and too talky, overall. Not Hitchcock's best work. And while conceptually, I like that the whole story takes place in one room, it's unfortunately stiff to watch.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

I find it difficult to gush over these older movies. Sure there is a battle of wits between the Inspector and the husband. But the audience knows who did it from the beginning - we have to make do with watching if the Inspector can figure it out.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Dial M for Murder Quotes

– Submitted by Andy A (4 years ago)

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