A husband concocts a plan to have his wife murdered,
but when his plan backfires, he tries to frame her for murder.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Frederick Knott
Starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings,
John Williams, Anthony Dawson
Based on the stage play by Frederick Knott
Dial M for Murder is pure Hitchcock and a great lesson in suspense. It's adapted from a stage play, and you can tell since the cast is minimal and most of the action takes place in one room. It's a story that proves definitively that there's no such thing as the perfect murder. Whatever can go wrong will inevitably go wrong, and the wicked always get theirs in the end. This film sports flawless performances from all involved, particularly Grace Kelly as Margot, the intended victim. Murder, plotting, blackmail, adultery, this film's got it all.
Ray Milland plays Tony, a jilted husband who learns his wife has been cheating on him with an American named Mark (Robert Cummings). Rather than confront them and risk getting cut out of his wife's will, Tony hires Charles Swann, (Anthony Dawson), an old acquaintance, to kill his wife by staging a burglary. He plans everything out to the last detail, but thanks to some ill-placed scissors, Swann is killed in self-defense and now an investigation is held. Tony quickly thinks up a way to get Margot imprisoned for murder, but a dedicated detective starts to unravel Tony's little game.
The film is quite entertaining, and is very heavy on the dialogue, which I tend to enjoy. The cast is brilliant, and you can pick up on the Hitchcock-esque tone throughout. While not one of his absolute masterpieces, Dial M for Murder is still a must-see for thriller fans and Hitchcock die hards.