Dial M for Murder

Dial M for Murder ★★★½

Hitchcock is practically on auto pilot here. There are no interesting deviations nor aspects that make this particularly different than other Hitchcock fare thematically. It's just a very good murder thriller, air tight and expertly executed. Classic Hitch.

There are a couple aspects that stand out though. For one, how Hitchcock presents us the geography of the scene is high level craftsmanship. His camera follows the characters like pieces on a game board, laying out the importance of the the space in the construction of the perfect murder. It’s particularly striking when we see this from above, like we’re viewing this from a security cam grafted on the ceiling.

Another thing might not be as intentional given Hitchcock’s recorded history with women, but the idea that the law was so quick to not believe and out right victim blame Kell is particularly resonant and makes this a feminist text of sorts. If not for the dumb mistake that the thriller writer hints at, Milland would’ve been skating his way to his new fortune purely by the power of white privilege. 

This may be far from his best, most nuanced stuff and when it comes to spousal homicide plots, Les Diaboliques is better in my mind, but damn do I wish I was able to invoke such  effortless precision as Hitch does in this entertaining classic.



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