tek's rating:

Dial M for Murder (PG)
Alfred Hitchcock Wiki; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TCM; TV Tropes; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia

This Hitchcock film came out in 1954, like 21 years before I was born. It's something I kind of assumed would be a film noir, and in fact I watched it as part of a DVD set that includes three other movies that are film noirs. But Wikipedia didn't classify it as such (though IMDb did). So, I dunno. I guess I won't call it a noir. That being the case, I chiefly think of it as a "classic" film, but as for a specific genre... it's hard to say. I tend to think of "crime films" as focusing on the criminals and "mystery films" as focusing on the detectives. This one does seem to focus more on the criminal, and it's really hard to think of it as a mystery, since we the viewers know what's going on all along. Then again... the detective did rather impress me, in the end. So while my primary categorization will be classic, I guess my secondary will be mystery.

Oh, and I should mention that it was released in both 3-D and 2-D formats, back in 1954, but the version I watched on DVD in 2017 was 2-D.

Anyway, there's this British guy named Tony Wendice, who is married to a woman named Margot (Grace Kelly). I guess a year before the movie starts, Margot had an affair with an American mystery writer named Mark Halliday. And now Mark is back in London, and visits Margot and Tony. Margot thinks Tony has no idea about the affair, but we soon learn that he did know. And he blackmails a guy named... well, a guy who's gone by several names... he blackmails this guy into murdering Margot, while Tony is out at a party with Mark. (Tony's motive seems to be more about inheriting Margot's money than revenge for her affair.) Unfortunately for him, Margot manages to kill her would-be murderer. The police come and look things over, but subsequently, an inspector named Hubbard continues to investigate.

And... I guess I don't want to say too much more. I'll just mention that Hubbard has a realization concerning a latchkey that hadn't occurred to me, but it was so obvious in hindsight. (So that's what impressed me.) I also want to mention... well, I won't specifically say what, just a little joke concerning a handbag that I found amusing in the context of era, but which in a modern context I found sad and offensive. And then, the very end of the movie was... sort of unambiguously amusing. But I don't want to say how, because I don't want to spoil it. It's just... the way a certain character acts when... whatever.


classics index
mysteries index