Classics: Dial M for Murder (1954)

I love watching films and I’m always keen to discover new films. But the notion of discovering new films usually is connected to film who have been filmed recently, but that’s not really what I mean. I also love to discover films from the past, the so-called classics. One of my favourites is Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. This post may contain spoilers, so y’know.

I accidentally stumbled upon this film. I would love to tell you that I always had read about this film and always have been a great admirer of Hitchcock, but the naked truth is that I came across this film because I was looking for a music album by Bonobo, called Dial M for Monkey. That brought me to this film and I’m really happy it did. But also listen to Bonobo’s album, it’s exquisite.

Former professional tennis player Tony Wendice and his wife wealthy wife Margot, are not happy with each other. Tony ended is career early, to spend time with his wife, but she has an affair with crime author Mark Halliday. He has tried to get them apart which didn’t succeed, so Tony does something drastic; he has set a plan to kill his wife with the perfect murder. Margot however, survives the attempt and Tony now must fear for the truth to come out, as he plotted the murder against his wife. Police inspector Hubbard is on the case and tries to find out who’s behind this all. The perfect murder that wasn’t.

It’s not regarded as Hitchcock’s best film, it’s not even considered as his best film of 1954. According to most film critics, this is Rear Window (1954). This film is quite extraordinary in my opinion because a few things:

  1. It’s not complicated, but has many plot twists. Which is quite ideal for a thriller, but maybe there is too much dialogue for a good thriller. This doesn’t mind me and the fact that it is adapted from a play, makes the feeling better.
  2. There are only few actors and it’s almost entirely filmed in one room. Personally I think it’s really cool that it’s not filmed in 20 different locations. I think that it would be a distraction from the acting and I really like the dialogues in this film. The power of dialogue is what made this film great in my opinion.
  3. You feel for the bad guy. Hitchcock managed to create a film where you can relate to the bad guy better at a certain point, than with the victim. The sympathy you can for him is quite remarkable.

I think this is a brilliant film because of the things I’ve said above, but it also has an emotional value for me. It was one of the first older films I’ve seen and actually wanted to see. I’ve been always been a lover of good dialogue and this film definitely met my need for it. The different plot twists make it an enjoyable film to watch and it’s one of the first films to experiment with different techniques in the 1950’s.



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