IMDb > Dial M for Murder (1954)
Dial M for Murder
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Dial M for Murder (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Dial M for Murder -- An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   78,914 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Frederick Knott (screen play)
Frederick Knott (adapted from his play)
Contact:
View company contact information for Dial M for Murder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 May 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Kiss By Kiss...Supreme Suspense Unfurls! See more »
Plot:
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(238 articles)
Hitchcock Dials it up
 (From Cineplex. 10 September 2014, 8:00 AM, PDT)

Video of the Day: See Every Alfred Hitchcock Cameo
 (From SoundOnSight. 21 August 2014, 10:01 AM, PDT)

DVD Review – Grace Kelly Collection
 (From Scorecard Review. 10 August 2014, 6:26 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The stage-originated dialogue sings with intelligence, wit, and an easy transition to the screen See more (231 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ray Milland ... Tony Wendice

Grace Kelly ... Margot Mary Wendice

Robert Cummings ... Mark Halliday

John Williams ... Chief Inspector Hubbard

Anthony Dawson ... Captain Lesgate (Swann)
Leo Britt ... The Storyteller
Patrick Allen ... Detective Pearson
George Leigh ... Detective Williams
George Alderson ... First Detective
Robin Hughes ... Police Sergeant O'Brien
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Bender ... Banquet Member (uncredited)
Sanders Clark ... Detective (uncredited)
Jack Cunningham ... Bobby (uncredited)
Robert Dobson ... Police Photographer (uncredited)

Guy Doleman ... Detective (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman Departing Ship (uncredited)
Robert Garvin ... Banquet Member (uncredited)
Michael Hadlow ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man at Tony's Table at the Dinner in Photograph (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Men's Club Party Member (uncredited)

Martin Milner ... Policeman Outside Wendice Flat (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Judge at Margot's Trial (uncredited)
Ben Pollock ... Banquet Member (uncredited)
Thayer Roberts ... Detective (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Frederick Knott (screen play)

Frederick Knott (adapted from his play)

Produced by
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Rudi Fehr (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Edward Carrere 
 
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Otis Malcolm .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gertrude Wheeler .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mel Dellar .... assistant director
C. Carter Gibson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Herbert Plews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
Stanley Martin .... sound (uncredited)
Robert G. Wayne .... sound (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Leon Albert .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Wesley Anderson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Pat Clark .... still photographer (uncredited)
Vic Johnson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Dudie Maschmeyer .... grip (uncredited)
William John Ranaldi .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... camera technician (uncredited)
Claude Swanner .... best boy (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Moss Mabry .... wardrobe
Jack Delaney .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Lillian House .... wardrobe: ladies (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Dimitri Tiomkin .... conductor
 
Other crew
Rita Michaels .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures) (A Warner Bros.- First National Picture)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
105 min | Portugal:88 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:16 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-12 | France:U | Norway:16 | South Korea:12 (DVD rating) (2004) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2008) | UK:PG (video rating) (2003) (2004) | UK:PG (video rating: 100m) (1987) | USA:PG | USA:PG (1982 re-release) | USA:Approved (PCA #16708) | West Germany:16 (nf) (original rating) | West Germany:12 (video) (re-rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The characters of Margot and Mark were named Sheila and Max in the original play.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After Tony removes the reunion photograph from the wall to show it to Swann, he re-hangs it tilted relative to the other pictures next to it. In the next shot Tony is returning to his chair and the picture has been straightened.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Margot Mary Wendice:let me get you another drink. Mark, before Tony comes I ought to explain something.
Mark Halliday:Yes, I've been waiting for that.
Margot Mary Wendice:I haven't told him anything about us.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Kill Your Killer (2014)See more »

FAQ

Why dial "M"?
Is this movie based on a novel?
Was the film shot in 3D?
See more »
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
The stage-originated dialogue sings with intelligence, wit, and an easy transition to the screen, 26 November 2012
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States

There is a lot to admire about Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder," and I do hold the film with a great deal of admiration and respect. However, what I adore about the movie the most (more than the cinematography, the suspense, the acting, and even the direction) is the work by screenwriter Frederick Knott. Mr. Knott based the screenplay for "Dial M for Murder" on his successful stage production, which I have never seen, but am told contains almost all of the words we hear in the film. And the words are music to the ears. They sing with intelligence, wit that Mr. Hitchcock certainly found attractive, and, best of all, an easy transition to the screen. Many times when a stage production goes to film, as far as I am concerned, the results, even if good, are uneven. Frequently, the dialogue and restricted set space allowed tend to give off the impression of a filmed play, not a cinematic experience. Another Hitchcock film, 1948's "Rope," though valiant, interesting, and successful, attempted this and suffered from this difficult struggle.

But the dialogue, put on film here, is exceptional. I write this review having seen "Dial M for Murder" two or three times and wanting to see it once again. Many reviewers, myself included, have tried watching films with the sound off. I want to try the opposite. I want to close my eyes and just listen to the dialogue because it's so strong. The MacGuffin conversation at the beginning, with a perfectly cast Ray Milland blackmailing a perfectly cast Anthony Dawson into murdering a perfectly cast Grace Kelly is brilliantly written by Mr. Knott. It was clearly from a stage production, as it explains the plot background in great detail, and goes on for the better part of twenty minutes. Both men are fleshed out, giving us their personalities and individual tendencies. And even though "Dial M for Murder" pretty much stays on just one small set (an apartment in London, in which we see mostly the foyer, a little of the bedroom, and just a glimpse of the kitchen), what happens there is so fascinating that we do not really want to venture out into the city.

And that is just the setup. The dialogue remains insistently interesting and clever throughout the picture. It also has that subtle, dark sense of humor that Alfred Hitchcock was keen on. It also has the ironic touches, such as when Mr. Milland, as the jealous husband, kisses his unfaithful wife on the night she is to be murdered, and tells her: "Goodbye, my dear." The audience, having been given every single little detail about the scheme and how it is to unfold, cringes with a dark realization that Mr. Hitchcock might just go through with Mr. Milland's plot. Mr. Hitchcock, as the director, is also due tremendous credit for his trademark of creating tension. Screenwriter Knott brilliantly lays out for the audience, not the victim, how the murder will go through, but Mr. Hitchcock's camera dutifully follows everything as the scheme goes along. And, before we realize it, if something starts to go wrong, we become scared and tense. And you can imagine my guilt when I realized I was feeling scared that a plan to murder someone just might not go through. It's Mr. Hitchcock's gift at work.

Dimitri Tiomkin, a very good film composer, hits all the write notes; that includes knowing when he needs to tell his violins and trumpets to shut up. Robert Burks' cinematography is also strong with effective usage of shadows and streaks of light. Colors are omnipresent. And even though "Dial M for Murder" was shot with the intent to be seen in 3D, it is hardly evident. When I first saw the film, in much superior 2D, I did not mind the lamps and such in the foreground, such as when one bisects the screen between Ray Milland and Anthony Dawson during the opening sequence. I just thought it was a clever piece of filmmaking and misc en scene, not a cheap gimmick like in most 3D movies today. "Dial M for Murder" is a near-perfect movie of its kind, pumped full of smart dialogue and dazzling energy. This is one of the few play-to-movie transition that I have seen where I have suddenly become eager to see the original stage production.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Dial M for Murder (1954)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Does anybody feel his mind is not adequate for this movie? patrick8828
Am I the only one... jmobleyj
Why would Margot have known the key was under the carpet? themgt1
Why didn't Tony have another key cut? themgt1
Dial MN? davethemathtutor
Homophobic moment wmpape
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