A suave tennis player (Ray Milland) plots the perfect murder, the dispatching of his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly), who is having an affair with a writer (Robert Cummings). Amazingly, the wife manages to stave off her attacker, a twist of fate that challenges the hubby's talent for improvisation. Alfred Hitchcock wisely stuck to the stage origins of Dial M for Murder
, ignoring the temptation to "open up" the material from the home of the unhappy couple. The result may not be one of Hitchcock's deepest films but it's a thoroughly engaging chamber movie. It also features Grace Kelly at her loveliest, the same year she made Rear Window
with Hitchcock. Dial M for Murder
was filmed in the briefly trendy 3-D process and Hitchcock shot some scenes to bring out the depth of the 3-D field; it's especially good for the nail-biting attempted murder of Kelly and her desperate reach for a pair of scissors that seems to be just outside her grasp. However, the film was rarely shown with the proper 3-D projection, going out "flat" instead (a 1980 reissue restored the process for a limited theatrical release). Dial M
was remade in 1998 as A Perfect Murder
,a film that changed and expanded the material, with no improvement on the clean, witty original. --Robert Horton
Classic Hitchcock movie starring Grace Kelly & Ray Milland. Ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice decides to murder his wife for her money and because she had an affair the year before. He blackmails an old college associate to strangle her, but when things go wrong he sees a way to turn events to his advantage.