3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dial B for Brilliant
, 1 May 2002
This review is from: Dial M For Murder [VHS] (VHS Tape)
‘Dial M for Murder’ has many of the touches that one associates with Hitchcock, mainly, his masterly use of building up suspense and the way he makes you side with for the villain, despite yourself. The acting is excellent. Ray Milland is convincing as the charming but devious husband who attempts to murder his wife, Grace Kelly, who makes a compelling and sympathetic victim. Only Robert Cummings grates as the insufferable ‘hero’, although this may have had to do more with the part than the actor himself.
The flaws are the films are a slight stiffness. There are two reasons for this. ‘Dial M for Murder’ was originally a play and most of the action takes place in one room. Necessary on a static stage, but limiting and unnatural in a film. It was also shot in 3D at the insistence, and against Hitchcock’s objections, of the studios. Since the cameras necessary for 3D were bulky and difficult to manoeuvre, there is a lack of fluidity that adds to the feeling that you are watching a play rather than a film, even if it is an excellent play. However, Hitchcock still manages to produce good cinema. His slow build-up to the attempted murder scene and its thrilling climax is to see the master at his best.
A wonderful film that never bores and often startles. Not quite “up there” with Hitchcock’s best, but an excellent film nevertheless.
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