A Perfect Murder Reviews
I recognize this movie is an updated re-write of the Hitchcock classic, "Dial M for Murder". I enjoy old movies as much as anyone else, but to be honest, I enjoyed "A Perfect Murder" significantly more than the Hitchcock version, which (by comparison) drags along at a snail's pace. Though it's been nearly 20 years since "A Perfect Murder" was released, it has aged very well and there's nothing that reminds you of it's vintage - with the possible exception of the dated cell phone (flip phone with an extending antenna) Michael Douglas' character uses in one pivotal scene.
"A Perfect Murder" is worth watching for the solid performances of its stellar cast, excellent production values and thrilling ride provided by a well written script - exactly the reasons I keep coming back to this one even though I know how it ends.
In Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder, the characters played by Ray Milland and Grace Kelly are depicted as living in a modest London flat, although it is implied that they are quite wealthy, as Milland's character, Tony Wendice, is a retired tennis champion. Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow's characters are also shown as an extremely wealthy couple. Both Kelly and Paltrow's characters are shown as striking blondes. Both films make use of the mystery of the fact that no key was found on the dead man when he was killed by both Kelly and Paltrow's characters, as both their husbands had removed them in an attempt to pin the crime on their wives. Toward the beginning of Dial M For Murder, when Kelly and Robert Cummings are shown together in the Wendice flat, and Milland comes home, Kelly greets him with "There you are!" and kisses him. Presumably in homage to the original film, Douglas's character greets Paltrow exactly the same way when she arrives home to their apartment at the beginning of A Perfect Murder.
The title A Perfect Murder matches the translation that was made in some countries of Hitchcock's film, known in Italian as Il delitto perfetto and in Spanish as Crimen perfecto; in French it was Le crime était presque parfait.
An alternate ending exists and is presented, with optional commentary, on the original DVD release. In this version, Steven comes back from finding the key replaced where he had hidden it and Emily confronts him in the kitchen rather than in their foyer. The scene plays out with the same dialogue, but Steven never physically attacks her. He still tells her that the only way she'll leave him is dead, and she shoots him. Steven then says "You won't get away with this" before dying and Emily purposely injures herself, making it look like self-defense.
The film opened in second place at the box office behind The Truman Show, grossing $16,615,704 during its first weekend. It ended up with a total worldwide gross of $128,038,368.
The film received mixed reviews from critics: Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it a "skillfully plotted update of Frederick Knott's play". Roger Ebert wrote "[It] works like a nasty little machine to keep us involved and disturbed; my attention never strayed". Meanwhile, James Berardinelli wrote that the film "has inexplicably managed to eliminate almost everything that was worthwhile about Dial M for Murder, leaving behind the nearly-unwatchable wreckage of a would-be '90s thriller." A Perfect Murder holds a 55% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 50/100 ("mixed or average reviews") from Metacritic
man this is such a thrilling, enjoyable movie 2 watch, its got such a good story line throughout this movie, I think that this is such a good thriller movie 2 watch as the director keeps you on the edge of your seats throughout this movie.......
There's some clever twists and updates to the tale (chiefly the wife not being completely helpless) and it certainly isn't as stagey. When a play is simply dropped on to the screen, it shoots itself in the foot a little bit, right from the get-go.