#158: Dial M for Murder (1954)

imdb top 250

When and how did I watch this?

January 9th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Finally, another Hitchcock film.  I was really disappointed with Notorious, and there hasn’t been another Hitchcock film since.  Yeah, I’m kind of a fanboy. Grace Kelly stars.  That’s about all I knew about this one.

What do I know about it now?

This is one of those films that all other attempts at suspense/thrillers should use as a template.  There’s nothing extraordinarily complicated about it, except that the viewer is artfully “left out” for a really long time and we never really decide who the bad guy is until the final fifteen minutes or so.  Even then, we’re still conflicted, because we’re all human and sympathize with everyone involved.  It’s a strange series of unfortunate circumstances that pile up, eventually sort themselves out (as situations like this do — forgive my ambiguity here), and gradually descend into desperate covering up and half-truths. What a great film.

What are some themes in the film?

Infidelity, murder, trust, paranoia, justice

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  The actual murder scene is legendary stuff.

Why is this ranked #158?

What I like about Hitchcock films is that they always make you feel smarter and they never condescend. This story is written perfectly; every detail is sound.  And yeah, people love his work. This is right where it’s supposed to be, among the greats.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She was equally thrilled.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, please!

Would I recommend it to a friend?

This is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I think I’ve made that abundantly clear.

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