DIAL M FOR MURDER

(1953)
With Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Reviewed by JL

3D! Awoooooo!     Alfred Hitchcock claimed he made DIAL M FOR MURDER as a quickie effort while he "recharged his batteries" for his next, more ambitious production (the great REAR WINDOW).  But as DIAL M proved, Hitchcock was still better than most directors even when he was only phoning it in.  It's a cramped, mostly one-set film that looks exactly like what it is (a filmed stage play), but Hitchcock provides enough tension and visual variety to relieve some of the claustrophobia.  Ray Milland is wonderful as the classiest of conniving cads, Grace Kelly does lovely-and-vulnerable as well as anyone, and John Williams demonstrates why he was the cinema's quintessential Scotland Yard inspector.  Only Bob Cummings, an actor more skilled at light comedy, is miscast, although he tries his best.  Not a major film in Hitchcock's canon to be sure, but perhaps the most solidly entertaining trifle he ever made. - JL

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