Dial M for Murder

Dial M for Murder ★★★★

Just why they made a 3D movie that was an adaptation of a stage play (by Frederick Knott) and is a dialogue-heavy thing mainly set in one apartment, I cannot explain. I'd still like to see that version to check out the depth of field and all that, but I rented it from the library so it was just the old DVD I got to check out instead of the Blu that has both versions which was released back in '12.

The plot is straight to the point: Ex tennis pro Tony (Ray Milland) is married to Margot (Grace Kelly) but it's an unhappy marriage. She is cheating on him with novelist Mark (Robert Cummings) and when Tony finds out, he concocts what he thinks is “the perfect murder” of his wife and he blackmails Swann (Anthony Dawson) into doing the deed. Things go awry, though. Can Tony think on the fly and still be able to get to the end game? Can Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) figure it all out?

While there was a time or two that I went “Hey, wait a minute...” overall I particularly did enjoy this tale. The setting may sound limiting, but it was never boring; the script is very tight and filmed quite well by a great director with a more than capable cast. It's never dull visually or aurally. The dialogue is always entertaining, my personal favorite was when someone else tried to poke holes in Tony's plans and he explains, “Oh no, I thought of that already, and...” It's oh so fun. However, note that even the perfect murder may look flawless on paper but in execution something unforeseen is bound to happen; sticking to concocting such things on the written page (as Mark does) may be best.

Anyhow, this is a thrilling movie which is an example of "less is more".

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