Dec’s review published on Letterboxd:
Would you provide me with the perfect murder?
The blocking and framing is excellent as always, there was a long take with two characters in a room, one has a monologue and I found the one shot take for 90 seconds helped keep me engaged. The dialogue is gripping, very intelligent screenplay which showcases how smart these characters are. I thought this would work well as a play and then I found out it originally was a play, this is the original Gone Girl but for guys! The Albert Hall is name dropped in this, nice. There’s a camera angle choice Hitchcock made where; a certain plan was explained it was like I was watching from an upper circle as if I was in a theatre, not sure if that was the intention but I’m taking it as that, I really liked that choice, it happens several times during the film. It made me feel as if I was literally looking down on these shady characters. Just like Akira’s Rashomon, at a specific moment there was a creative choice of only Grace Kelly in frame being questioned by other characters offscreen, Kelly is centre frame infront of us as if we are in the room listening, whilst she looks directly into the camera.
There’s a lot of miniature one shot takes lasting an average of 90 seconds when the dialogue gets heavy, I liked this too. One of Hitchcock’s best whydunits. It was sharp, stylistic and super. It was quite meta at times which I liked. Found it a bit funny that this had an intermission for only being 105 minutes long. The suspenseful was prestigious, I had no idea how this would play out since I went in blind, the planning is masterful. Grace Kelly from Rear Window, To Catch a thief is in another Hitchcock film again and she might be a good luck charm, just like Rear Window the room in this apartment is iconic, even the poster is iconic. The fact that Rear Window and Dial M for murder were released in the same year is impressive. The pacing is incredible, I didn’t expect this to be so good, I thought Rope was the best Murder perspective Hitchcock film we could get! A villain led film too I loved. Tony Wendice is one of my favourite Hitchcock characters, Ray Milland really is a powerhouse in this. Grace Kelly was a delight, Robert Cummings was great he held his own against Milland and John Williams I really enjoyed as the inspector, heavy Poirot vibes with that mighty moustache. Such a great film, I’m not afraid to say this is another masterpiece from Hitchcock, one I can’t wait to revisit in the future.
Fun fact: Shot in 36 days.