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Dial M for Murder  [DVD]
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Grace Kelly and Ray Milland star in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller adapted from the play by Frederick Knott. Former tennis pro Tony Wendice (Milland) hatches a cunning plot to get rid of his socialite wife, Margot (Kelly), when he discovers that she has been having an affair with author Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). Wendice blackmails a corrupt former schoolmate into murdering her, but the man bungles the job, and Margot, having killed her would-be assailant in self-defence, then finds herself under suspicion of premeditated murder...
Given the ongoing cinematic appreciation for 3D films, it’s easy to overlook that fact that there are many films of old that have tinkered with the format, too. Alfred Hitchcock was one director who tried it out, shooting Dial M For Murder in 3D. This Blu-ray release not only restores and remasters the film, but also brings back the 3D too. Given how rarely the film has been seen in its original 3D form, this is something worthy of real interest.
The film itself is effectively a three hander, one that was tackled more recently in the Michael Douglas vehicle A Perfect Murder. Hitchcock’s is, unsurprisingly, the better film with Ray Milliband’s tennis player plotting the murder of his wife, played by Grace Kelly, who happens to be having an affair with Robert Cummings’ writer. It’s a claustrophobic, occasionally witty, thriller that ensues, hinging not only on the quality of Hitchcock’s direction, but also the performance of the three leads. They do not let their director down.
The disc explores, on top of the film, the story of Hitchcock and Dial M For Murder, and adds the original trailer for the film too. But it’s the chance to see the film closer to how Hitchcock originally intended that remains the key selling point for this strong Blu-ray. --Jon Foster --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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