Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
I saw Dial M For Murder in the theater when it was re-released in 3D in 1980. It is the best 3D movie ever. Unlike other gimmicky 3D movies such as House of Wax that were released in the 50's by lesser directors, Hitchcock didn't try to throw things at the viewer in every single scene. Since it was a stage play, he just concentrated on the depth of the stage in a lot of long shots to lull you into forgetting about the 3D. He even used rear projection in some scenes that flattened out the movie. He saved the 3D for the one great scene when the killer is strangling Grace Kelly. With the great 3D effect, she seems to reach out into the audience for the pair of scissors to defend herself and you find yourself wanting to hand her the scissors.
I'm amazed this film has never been put on video or DVD. If the people in the video department at Fox were smart they would release it every Christmas, since one of the short stories it includes is The Gift of the Magi. Another is the Cop and the Anthem, where Charles Laughton plays a tramp trying unsuccessfully to get himself arrested at Christmas so he can get a warm cell to sleep in. (Red Skelton used that story every Christmas for his Freddy the Freeloader character). As a kid I was a Warner Brothers fan, but this is the one Fox movie I never missed when it came on TV. O. Henry wrote great short stories with twist endings that influenced such TV anthology series as Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock presents. Included here is The Clarion Call, a nice tight little film noir with Richard Widmark virtually repeating his role from Kiss of Death. The Last Leaf is nice life affirming tearjerker. The Ransom of Red Chief has Fred Allen and Oscar Levant in a hilarious tale of two luckless kidnappers in a tale worthy of Mark Twain. Fox is sitting on a gold mine. Put it out on video.
Even though City of Angels began as a TV knock off of the movie Chinatown, it broke a big cliche in private eye TV shows. Every private eye has a friend on the force. Not Jake Axminster. He has an enemy on the force. Once a week Lt. Quint brings him downtown and beats the stuffing out of him. Jake would always look both ways before he left his office to see if the cops were laying for him.
I saw this Canadian documentary at a Seattle film festival in 1978. It had a scene in it so funny that they had to delay the next film for fifteen minutes until the laughter died down. And then they had to stop the film festival at least twice when people remembered the funny part and burst out laughing during serious films. It won't spoil it to tell you the scene because it has to be seen to be believed. It involves the vet wearing a rubber glove all the way up to his armpit trying to remove an intestinal blockage from a cow. The cow gets loose and gallops across the prairie with the vet as a reluctant trailing appendage. You can just imagine the insurance agent asking the vet, "Tell me again how you broke your arm in 14 places?"