Saturday, 17 July 2010

Movie Review: Dial M For Murder (1954)

In London, a husband (Ray Milland) plots the perfect murder to get rid of his rich but cheating wife (Grace Kelly). But while the plan seemed perfect, in practice the plot unravels with unintended consequences. A police investigator and the woman's lover are soon trying to untangle a mess of a plot gone wrong.

Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of Frederick Knott's stage play is both sure-footed and clever. Hitchcock does not try to spin the plot too far away from its stage roots. He allows the strength of the story, the sharp dialogue and his confident cast to deliver a simple yet gripping film.

Ray Milland as the has-been tennis star husband is effectively slimy and sinister as he conjures up two plots against his wife: the first plot he planned for years; the second he has to develop in minutes as all his initial plans go astray. Grace Kelly does well as the seemingly innocent wife-with-a-lover who is suddenly confronted with death twice over. And John Williams is most watchable as Chief Inspector Hubbard, who uses his wits and old-fashioned detective work to piece together a plot involving a planned murder, an unintended victim, apparent blackmail, and infidelity.

Hitchcock does not waste a minute of screen time on any scenes unnecessary to move the plot forward, and adds to the suspense with ever-interesting camera angles that ratchet up the tension without ever getting obtrusive.

Dial M For Murder proves that with the right talent on both sides of the camera, great movies can be delivered in surprisingly compact packages.

All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers are welcome to comment on Ace Black Blog posts. Any comments that insult the intelligence will be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...