Dial M for Murder

Dial M for Murder ★★★★

Far from Hitchcock's best--it's excessively plotty and talky--but all that exposition and plotting produces some wonderfully clever, laugh-out-loud, and shocking twists and turns. I think the dense, restrained theatricality of it keeps Hitchcock from really diving into the themes and more uniquely cinematic direction of his best work, but it does have its moments. The way the film convinces the audience of a ridiculous premise and then has the characters pick apart and reconstruct the possibility of that very scenario does hint at the sort of cinematic self-reflectivity of other Hitchcock films like (i) Rear Window (/i), although the dark playfulness of these meta-themes might resemble DePalma's work more.

Despite the limitation of (most of) the film to one room, Hitchcock still manages to direct the hell out of the film, especially in 3D. Not only is it staged and blocked beautifully, and the two stand-out 3D moments (one during the murder attempt and another in a key revelation later on) are accompanied by subtler 3D depth that I found much more compelling than the lazy 3D of most blockbusters today.

It might not rank in the top tier of Hitchcock's work, but it is consistently clever, engaging, and darkly humorous. One of the most fun and unique theater experiences I've ever had (thank you the UW-Madison Cinematheque for their 3D series!).

Block or Report

Henry liked this review