6.5/10
69,304
201 user 67 critic

A Perfect Murder (1998)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Disclosure (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, he's horrified to discover that the abductors' demand is that he break through to a post traumatic stress disorder suffering young woman who knows a secret...

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
Unfaithful (2002)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A New York suburban couple's marriage goes dangerously awry when the wife indulges in an adulterous fling.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Wall Street (1987)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A billionaire offers $1,000,000 to a young married couple for one night with the wife.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Michael P. Moran ...
...
Ambassador Alice Wills
...
Sandra Bradford
...
Jason Gates
Maeve McGuire ...
Ann Gates
...
Effete Man at Met
Laurinda Barrett ...
Met Woman #1
Aideen O'Kelly ...
Met Woman #2
...
Merchant Prince #1
...
Merchant Prince #2
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Husband. Wife. Lover. A Dangerous Affair. A Perfect Murder. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dial M for Murder  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,615,704, 7 June 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$67,638,368

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$128,038,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

If Emily's financial advisers were able to track David's criminal history, they would obviously inform Emily and she would in turn would end their affair. See more »

Quotes

David Shaw: [meeting in a crowded diner] Come on Steve, a man with your résumé can come up with four hundred grand in no time.
Steven: [Nods] Where?
David Shaw: My place, you don't show up with the cash, I'll mail the recording I have as "Steven's greatest hits."
Steven: I understand.
David Shaw: [hands him the tab] Be fucking sure you do.
See more »

Connections

References The Lone Ranger (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Biala Mi Gente
Written by Chris 'Hambone' Cameron and Ruben Alvarez
Performed by Ruben Alvarez and Chris 'Hambone' Cameron
Chris 'Hambone' Cameron appears courtesy of Calliope Music/Capricorn Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Starts promisingly...falls apart in the final third
23 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

It may be more credible to cite Psycho or Vertigo as your favourite Hitchcock, but my particular preference has always been Dial M for Murder. Sure, it's dated far more than a lot of Hitch's films, but it's still a tightly written and intelligent movie; Ray Milland playing a gentlemanly yet murderous businessman who plots to have his wife killed when he discovers she's having an affair and plans to leave him.

A Perfect Murder, the 1998 remake, is a very different beast with different motivations and some major changes to how the plot plays out. This time, it's Michael Douglas whose wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) is playing away from home but, in a move from the source material, it's her ex-con lover who is hired to do the murder.

Despite this deviation, the machinations of the murder plot from the original film are near-identical. A phone call home, a missing key, the supposed disturbed robbery, the would-be killer killed in self-defence...that's all Dial M. And, because of this, the first third of the film bounces along at a great pace.

Into Act 2 and things are still promising with the introduction of David Suchet as the investigating detective. Suchet is a wonderful actor and his first scene holds much potential and evokes memories of John Williams's memorable turn as Detective Hubbard in Dial M. Suchet's Detective Karaman seems smart as a tack and asks awkward questions of our protagonists. And then, inexplicably, the character all but vanishes from the movie without doing any further detecting. In fact, the big reveal of the murder is actually just down to the wife simply snooping through her husband's clumsily-hidden evidence, rather than anyone actually pursuing a line of enquiry.

As a result, the final third is really just our three main characters lying and and cheating. While it's fun to watch Douglas worm his way out of things by repeatedly changing his story, it all leads to a frankly barmy climax where the bodies start to pile up.

I guess A Perfect Murder is more interested in its characters than the tightly woven plot of Dial M, but the original film had charm that this sorely lacks. While Dial M may not seem realistic in its characters' motivations or the generally breezy tone, it's by far the better movie.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 201 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page