Dial M for Murder
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Based on the popular mystery play by Frederick Knott, Dial M For Murder is more talky and stagebound than most Hitchcock films, but no less enjoyable. British tennis pro Ray Milland suspects that his wealthy wife Grace Kelly is fooling around with handsome American Robert Cummings. Milland blackmails a disgraced former army comrade (Anthony Dawson) into murdering Kelly and making it look like the work of a burglar. But Milland's carefully mapped-out scheme does not take into account the notion that Kelly might fight back and kill her assailant. When the police (represented by John… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The fun of Dial M lies in its duel of wits..."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The screenplay tends to constrain rather than liberate Hitchcock's thematic thrust, but there is much of technical value in his geometric survey of the scene and the elaborate strategies employed to transfer audience sympathy among the main characters."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"An exercise made by an enormously talented constructor of thrillers in the most fertile period of his career."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Milland's sinister sophistication catches the eye, but Kelly's subtly shaded suffering is superb."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"The set-up is ingenious and the "kill" scene genuinely thrilling."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Dial M is less a filmed play than a highly cinematic investigation of theatricality."
‑ B. Kite, Village Voice
"It all moves along in a rather efficient if lifeless fashion, with only John Williams shining as a canny police detective."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The risk with clever thrillers is always that they will focus on pleasing the intellect at the expense of developing more depth. Dial M For Murder is a different kind of animal."
‑ Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
"Ray Milland is great as cold fish Tony Wendice, a former tennis pro who plans to bump off his adulterous wife. Still, Grace Kelly is mis-cast (or misdirected) as the spouse in question."
‑ Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London
"Grace Kelly reaches out into the audience for murder scissors; foreground tea tables all but clonk your knees; a tell-tale door key - how many Hitchcock revelation moments feature those! - is brandished inches from your nose."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Dial M remains more of a filmed play than a motion picture, unfortunately revealed as a conversation piece about murder which talks up much more suspense than it actually delivers."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"[Hitchcock] tried once before, in Rope, to build up a whole continuous drama in one set. He wasn't as successful in that venture. Dial M has all the space it needs."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Rather than let someone else mess with a play that has a formal perfection, Hitchcock did the adaptation himself, his only such credit while in Hollywood."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"The depth of focus, framing of characters and objects and use of the claustrophobic sets add extra pleasure to what was already a thoroughly enjoyable "perfect crime" nail-biter."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"Second tier Hitch perhaps, but no less enjoyable for it, and still a marvel of cinematic technique."
‑ Matthew Thrift, Little White Lies
More reviews for Dial M for Murder on Rotten Tomatoes

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