Dial M for Murder Reviews
Released also in 3D in its day was a big sensation especially for fans of Grace Kelly.
Hitchcock just takes this world largely set in a living room to such a dimension. It's gripping & hair raising film...a must see classic...recently released on 3D Blu Ray.
Ray Milland is one of the primary reasons this movie works so well. He is left with the unenviable task of delivering massive amounts of exposition, and also having entire silent scenes alone on screen doing a lot of physical work. It all hinges on him keeping it interesting in both types of scenes, and he nails it. I?m always fascinated by the kind of dialogue where a person is saying one thing and you can tell they mean something different, and that?s almost half of what is going on for Milland. It doesn?t hurt that he has a brilliant cast of actors with him including Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, Anthony Dawson, and John Williams. All of them are vital to making the movie work.
I am constantly reminded how much I love Hitchcock?s style of film-making. For one thing, he uses the camera in interesting ways in order to make a shot as effective for the scene as possible. Like in the murder planning scene he goes to a high and wide angle so we can see the entire room laid out like a map. Then he captures it all in what seems like a single shot so we can take in the full order of events as they are supposed to happen later. He also uses darkness and silent pauses to create dramatic pressure which builds up until the viewer is ready to pop, and just when we can stand it no more things explode. It?s all about pacing between the way actors move, the music, and everything else, and I love it! I could go on, but there?s only so many ways I can praise what is obviously a brilliant movie I loved and will revisit soon. I suspect this will rival some of my all-time favorites soon.
In the time since then I've seen most of the master's filmography and now recognize this as less than some of other masterpieces but it is still a thrilling piece of work.
What I love the most about it is the way it so effortlessly manipulates us as an audience to root for this guy to get away with the attempted murder of his wife! Few filmmakers can pull that off and now I think I need a bath to wash this proverbial dirt off.