A former tennis player tries to arrange his wife's murder after learning of her affair.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Frederick Knott (screen play by), Frederick Knott (as adapted from his play)
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Popularity
4,292 ( 400)
Top Rated Movies #151 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Tony Wendice
Grace Kelly ... Margot Wendice
Robert Cummings ... Mark Halliday
John Williams ... Chief Inspector Hubbard
Anthony Dawson ... Charles Swann
Leo Britt Leo Britt ... The Storyteller
Patrick Allen ... Detective Pearson
George Leigh George Leigh ... Detective Williams
George Alderson George Alderson ... First Detective
Robin Hughes ... Police Sergeant O'Brien
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If a woman answers...hang on for dear life! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers insisted on shooting the movie in 3-D, although the craze was fading and Sir Alfred Hitchcock was sure the movie would be released flat. Hitchcock wanted the first shot to be that of a close-up of a finger dialing the letter M on a rotary dial telephone, but the 3-D camera would not be able to focus such a close-up correctly. Hitchcock ordered a giant finger made from wood with a proportionally large dial built in order to achieve the effect. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the big trees at the end of the street are completely bare, as in winter. In all other scenes, the same trees are full of leaves, as in summer. Yet the murder occurred on September 26th, so all subsequent scenes ought to show fall colors. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The title is shown on a background of a British telephone dial; its MNO marking is replaced by a single large M which forms the single M of the title. See more »

Alternate Versions

Filmed and originally briefly released in 3-D. Later shown in conventional, "flat" version. It was re-issued in 3-D in 1980. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hitchcock and Dial M (2004) See more »

User Reviews

 
One of Hitchcock's best thrillers.
15 September 1999 | by Chuck-149See all my reviews

1954 was a big year for Grace Kelly. She played in Hitchcock's classic "Rear window" and she won an Oscar for best actress in "The country girl" and most people tend to forget that she starred in yet another classic, "Dial M for murder". Starring Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, and Robert Cummings, it is simply one of Hitchcock's finest movies of all-time. In fact, I would consider it to be my second favorite Hitchcock movie ever, my first being "Psycho" (although I haven't seen "Rear window" yet).

Margot (Grace Kelly) is married to Tony Wendice (Ray Milland), an ex-tennis player. However, she has been seeing another man named Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). Mark writes crime stories. The two of them think that Tony doesn't know about their relationship but they're wrong; Tony has known about this relationship for one year and seems to have had enough of it. So when Mark, who lives in New-York, comes to London to see Margot, Tony wants to go out with Mark and his wife. But the night of the event, Tony is unable to go. So he tells Margot to take Mark out and to have a good time. The only problem is that Tony doesn't really have something that's keeping him from going out with Margot and Mark. He has another plan, the plan being to blackmail one of his old college friends that has become a small time crook into murdering his wife.

What follows this is pure entertainment at its best. As usual, Hitchcock masterfully directs this movie and has the right actors to do the job. Ray Milland and Grace Kelly deliver very good performances and surprisingly enough, Robert Cummings does a rather good job in his role of Mark Halliday, the American crime novel writer who accidentally stumbles on the answer. But it is John Williams who steals the show with his great performance as Inspector Hubbard, the detective who holds the key to the whole mistery. He is simply excellent and pretty funny when he is supposed to be. Another of his great performances is in "Witness for the prosecution" where he played Brogan Moore, Charles Laughton's very good friend and seconding lawyer in the case. As for "Dial M for murder", well it's one of those movies that anyone should see at pretty much any cost.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dial 'M' for Murder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,562, 11 April 1999

Gross USA:

$12,562

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,816
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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