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in 3-D

U.S., 1954
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, Anthony Dawson, John Williams
Approx. 105 min. 3-D restoration courtesy Warner Bros.

Quintessential cool blonde (and Hitchcock favorite) Grace Kelly stars as a society woman for whom jealous husband Ray Milland arranges the perfect murder. But thanks to a well-placed pair of scissors, the tables are turned and Milland's carefully-laid plans begin to disintegrate. Hitchcock used a rapid 36-day shooting schedule, and was dismissive of 3-D itself ("A nine-day wonder, and I came in on the ninth day"). He refused to open out the hit play by Frederick Knott (author of another masterpiece of unknown terror, Wait Until Dark), confining most of the action to one set, and setting his cameras in a pit to get low-angle shots designed to emphasize depth and to give the film a theatricality and claustrophobia à la ROPE and REAR WINDOW. Only on this stage the proscenium doesn't end at the screen, it extends into the audience! 3-D is most effectively used in the murder sequence, which takes on new and greater significance as the viewer is placed in the midst of the struggle: a voyeuristic accomplice to murder as only Hitchcock could have planned.


“DIAL M FOR MURDER has a romping plot, a gloriously slimy villain and — thanks to the fact that (as in ROPE before and REAR WINDOW after) the action is mostly constrained to one room — some of the weirdest, tricksiest camera work of Hitchcock’s career.”
The Guardian

“Among the most purely enjoyable features the director ever helmed!”

“The film is confined almost entirely to a cramped apartment set — a constricted space that takes on a highly expressive quality in the picture's original 3-D version.”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“This sharp 3D restoration is a cool refresher for audiences weary of seeing the technology applied to mutants and doomsday scenarios.”
– Guy Lodge, Time Out

“By far the most VISUALLY COMPELLING of studio stereoscopic movies.”
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Film Forum