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Monday, October 17, 2016

Dial M For Murder (1954)

An ex-tennis pro (Ray Milland) has quit playing professionally due to his wife's (Grace Kelly) urging. Since she is the one who holds the money strings and is having an affair with a writer (Robert Cummings), he concocts an elaborate murder scheme that will end with her going to the gallows and he inheriting her wealth. But, of course, the best laid plans don't always work as smoothly as they do on paper. Based on the hit play by Frederick Knott (WAIT UNTIL DARK) and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Originally shot in 3D, a process Hitchcock felt had been "forced" on him by the studio, he barely uses the possibilities of 3D except during the attempted murder scene. It's really one of Hitchcock's least cinematic offerings and it looks like what it is ... a filmed play. Visually, it's one of his most unattractive films (Kelly's beauty notwithstanding) despite the masterful Robert Burks being in charge of the cinematography. Milland is very good and Kelly icily effective but Cummings is just terrible here! Knott adapted his play for the screen and the complicated plot is clever enough to hold our attention in spite of the lackluster talky presentation. With Anthony Dawson (DR. NO) and Martin Milner. 

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