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Dial M for Murder Reviews

Lower case Hitch, but diverting and sleek, with the climax early on. Milland is a playboy whose wealth has come entirely through his marriage to chic heiress Kelly. When he fears he'll lose her riches to American mystery writer Cummings, he plots her unfortunate demise. Milland contacts Dawson, an old chum who now operates in the underworld, and blackmails him into killing Kelly while he is conveniently away. Milland's plan misfires, however, when the murder plans go awry, leading to a thorough round of questioning from the crafty inspector Williams. Based on the successful play by Frederick Knott, this adaptation was essentially treated as an assignment by Hitchcock, who had already begun to work on REAR WINDOW. Shackled by Jack Warner's insistence on filming the picture in 3D (with its terribly immobile cameras), Hitchcock focused his attention on his new favorite actress, Kelly, with whom he would work again on his next two films, REAR WINDOW and TO CATCH A THIEF. Repeating his stage role as the Scotland Yard inspector is John Williams, who excells among the cast. Although the 3D version has hardly been seen, it does contain one of the best, least gimmicky, uses of the added dimension as Kelly, while being attacked, reaches "into the audience," desperately searching for a weapon to defend herself. The opening credit sequence of a finger dialing "M" on a telephone is, because of the problems of achieving close focus with 3D cameras, actually a giant dial and a large wooden finger which Hitchcock had specially constructed.