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A Perfect Murder (1998)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 June 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 61,643 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 188 user | 68 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

A remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Dial M for Murder (1954).



(play), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael P. Moran ...
Ambassador Alice Wills
Jason Gates
Maeve McGuire ...
Ann Gates
Effete Man at Met
Laurinda Barrett ...
Met Woman #1
Aideen O'Kelly ...
Met Woman #2
Merchant Prince #1
Robert vincent Smith ...
Merchant Prince #2 (as Robert Vincent Smith)


Millionaire industrialist Steven Taylor is a man who has everything but what he craves most: the love and fidelity of his wife. A hugely successful player in the New York financial world, he considers her to be his most treasured acquisition. But she needs more than simply the role of dazzling accessory. Brilliant in her own right, she works at the U.N. and is involved with a struggling artist who fulfills her emotional needs. When her husband discovers her indiscretion, he sets out to commit the perfect murder and inherit her considerable trust fund in the bargain. Written by [ dark angel grace ]

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A powerful husband. An unfaithful wife. A jealous lover. All of them have a motive. Each of them has a plan. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dial M for Murder  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,615,704 (USA) (5 June 1998)


£2,254,955 (UK) (6 November 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the artworks featured in this film are Mortensen's own. See more »


After the scene, where Steven opens a door for policemen, a camera pans down the spiral stairs. You can see two officers down there on the stairs obviously waiting for director's command and then start moving simultaneously. See more »


[first lines]
Steven: There you are. And how was your day? Any progress in saving the world?
Emily: I'm working on it.
See more »


Version of Dial M for Murder (1958) See more »


Black Alley Rap
Written by Chris 'Hambone' Cameron, Richard Davis and Stevie Butler
Performed by Stevie Butler
See more »

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User Reviews

Imperfect remake of clever stage thriller...
11 October 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER was based on the Frederick Knott play of the same name. A PERFECT MURDER takes elements from the play, makes alterations in scenes and characters, changes the ending, and in attempting to modernize the whole thing has added some extra gore to the proceedings so today's audiences won't feel cheated. And yet, the result is not only distinctly disappointing, but inferior.

Only fans of Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas will relish their performances in this pale rehash of the original material. The complexity of "the key under the stairmat" which was so effectively played out in the Hitchcock film is entirely missing here. The detective work so fascinating in the original play and film is also gone despite the fact that he is played by David Suchet (in a very underwritten role). In short: none of the revisions are any improvement. Nor does Viggo Mortensen impress as Paltrow's lover.

Those who haven't seen the movie or the play DIAL M FOR MURDER will no doubt find some of this absorbing enough--but anyone able to make a comparison is bound to be disappointed. I'll take Ray Milland-Grace Kelly-Robert Cummings under Hitchcock's direction any day over a misguided Paltrow and Douglas under Andrew Davis' direction.

As for the comments of the viewer who said, "Who's Hitchcock?", please...spare me your review.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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