• George Young

Homage to Hitchcock - Dial M for Murder (1954)

Sir Alfred entered a particularly fertile period in his professional career from 1954 through 1960. He directed nine movies, seven of which make their way to this homage of his Top Twenty. The only two that don't, The Wrong Man and The Trouble with Harry, are a testament to the talent and productiveness of Hitchcock.

Dial M showcases the underrated Ray Milland; the heart-stoppingly beautiful Grace Kelly, and The World's Worst Leading Man, Bob Cummings.

With all due respect to Hugh Grant.

The movie contains one of the most uncomfortably effective murder scenes involving Ms. Kelly (On her back, if you must know); a pair of scissors; and a villain who is Snidely Whiplash in the flesh.

Freddie Krueger has NOTHING on Dial M's bad guy.

Unfortunately, Dial M for Murder also has one of the bigger logic flaws in cinematic history, involving a bait-and-switch apartment key ruse, perpetrated by London detectives, which baffles me and many others, to this day. It is a probably a reason why critics were not overwhelmed by the film and audiences remained lukewarm . . . and at home.

No matter. It is a far sight better than the insomnia-curing Foreign Correspondent. If not for the weakness of the mousetrap of the key, the film would be much higher on the Homage to Hitchcock List.

And, BONUS, the film was produced in 3D! If you get a chance to see it in that aspect pay very close attention to the murder scene described above. It makes it particularly icky.

One of Hitch's finest is up next.

Rear Window (1954). You'll swear off apartment living forever.

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© 2018 by George W Young