Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Dial M For Murder (1954)

dial m for murder

SYNOPSIS: An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B. – via IMDB

Hello all! Thank you for returning, time and time again, for some more Hitchcock films and the reviews. Today I have another one that I have always heard about and have been meaning to check out: Dial M For Murder. This blogathon showed that it was time, so I finally got to cross another movie off of my list.

hitchcock dialling m

Dial M For Murder holds your attention for the duration of it. It starts off rather suddenly, but precisely where it needs to. Bear in mind, this was adapted from a play, so it means that the set is not huge, and it is something that Hitchcock pulls off exceptionally well. I was happy to see cutie Robert Cummings featuring again, and I must say that he impressed me again. Grace Kelly was such a stunner, and I thought that her and Cummings made a beautiful couple.

So when the movie kicks off, we learn that Margot Wendice (Grace Kelly) was cheating on her ex-tennis star husband Tony (Ray Milland) with mystery writer Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), though the two had called it off a year ago. However, with his return, it seems that the feelings are not dead, and the two are in love, though she is unwilling to leave her husband. Tony seems much in love with his wife, who appreciates that he finally made her front and centre of his life, and Tony and Mark seem to get along relatively well too, all things considered.

dial m for murder chilling together

Tony befriends Mark, and before one can get too indignant about a cheater befriending the husband of the woman he loves, Tony sends Mark and Margot off to the theatre, and then meets with a crook named Captain Lesgate (Anthony Dawson), a man he convinces to murder his wife for a thousand pounds so that he, Tony, can receive her sizable estate when all is said and done. He also thinks he has the perfect murder thought out, and ensures that he is at a stag party with Mark when it all goes down, giving him the perfect alibi. Naturally, things go wrong, and Margot survives, and Tony needs to change things around quickly, changing the nature of the evening, and Margot is painted a murderer and sentenced to death, though Mark refuses to accept that.

dial m for murder strangle

It was very interesting for me to see how Tony went about his planning, and how perfect it all was in his mind, but it honestly did not really account for anything changing. There were reasonable explanations for all the whys, but there was not contingency plan so much for any other wrinkle, and goodness, were there wrinkles when this plan got underway. Never mind the fact that Margot was unfaithful, it seemed evident that Tony had never put her first in his life until it was apparent to him that he very well may lose his meal ticket, and then he went for drastic measures.

dial m for murder group

The acting was pretty good for this, and everyone did their bit to convey their part. I liked Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams), he was sharp and certainly thought outside the box, even though he was doing everything by the book. I definitely thought this to be one of the  better Hitchcock films I have watched throughout the course of this blogathon, I certainly got a handful of less than stellar outings. Alfred Hitchcock certainly improved over time, and this was another film to showcase that.

The plot was pretty good, nothing revolutionary per se, but gripping enough to hold your attention, and the movie did not feel very long, though it comes in at 105 minutes. The plot is simple yet commanding, interesting without being too complex, and even though everything goes down in one room, that never becomes a drag or an issue, or something I really paid attention to at all. The cast carried this film incredibly well, and should be commended for that.

I could recommend Dial M For Murder as a pretty good mystery thriller, it came together well, was well constructed, and interesting at the very least, if not only to see how Tony’s perfect plan A suffered, and how he desperately needs plan B to work without a hitch.