A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
In London, wealthy Margot Mary Wendice had a brief love affair with the American writer Mark Halliday while her husband and professional tennis player Tony Wendice was on a tennis tour. Tony quits playing to dedicate to his wife and finds a regular job. She decides to give him a second chance for their marriage. When Mark arrives from America to visit the couple, Margot tells him that she had destroyed all his letters but one that was stolen. Subsequently she was blackmailed, but she had never retrieved the stolen letter. Tony arrives home, claims that he needs to work and asks Margot to go with Mark to the theater. Meanwhile Tony calls Captain Lesgate (aka Charles Alexander Swann who studied with him at college) and blackmails him to murder his wife, so that he can inherit her fortune. But there is no perfect crime, and things do not work as planned. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In a television interview Ray Milland said that he had fluffed his lines in a particular scene in the movie and ruefully apologized to the director. Alfred Hitchcock, he said, stared at him stonily for few seconds and then said: "I wound it up, put it on the floor, and it wouldn't go." See more »
The inspector makes a phone call from the flat, supposedly in London. We hear a clearly American-accented voice on the other end say "operator". It should have been an English voice, saying (in the 1950s), "Number, please." See more »
Surprisingly this is a lesser-known Hitchcock film but still stands up today as an exciting thriller full of twists and turns.
Ray Milland is excellent as ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice who decides to commit the perfect murder of his wife (Grace Kelly) when he learns of her affair with Robert Cummings (who isn't given much to do). In fact, Milland's subtle performance has you wanting the murder plot to work! Though it has to be said, Kelly's helpless female turn does not help in this regard either.
Hitchcock's skill here is to totally involve the viewer in the labyrinthine plot involving keys, telephone calls and stockings so that at the end of the film you haven't even noticed that virtually all the scenes are in one room.
If you like clever, wordy films with a touch of humour then I recommend `Dial M For Murder'. 8/10
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