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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3,906 ( 18)
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:

Kiss By Kiss...Supreme Suspense Unfurls! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Williams won the 1953 Tony Award (Broadway) for Best Featured Actor in a Play for "Dial M for Murder" as Inspector Hubbard. He re-created the role in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Tony tells Swann he married for money, he is holding his walking-stick between his knees. In the next shot Tony is suddenly resting his chin on the handle of the stick. 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

The film had an intermission in its original 3-D release, although it is less than two hours, in length. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Irrational Man (2015) See more »

User Reviews

 
Tense and exciting.
15 October 2006 | by PizzicatoFishCrouchSee all my reviews

Tony Wendice (Ray Milland), an ex-tennis player, unhappily married to Margot (Grace Kelly), correctly guesses that she has been cheating, with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). Mark writes crime stories. Unbeknown to Margot and Mark, Tony knows about the affair, and wants to teach Margot a little lesson, by taking away the thing that is her life. But, being too guileful to do it himself, Wendice blackmails one of his old school friends into murdering her, and the essential thing to doing it is his latchkey.

Dial M for Murder succeeds on many levels, and it is largely thanks to some superb dialogue, written from a tricksy-yet-capable script that never gets too deep. The cast are a treat. Ray Milland is an absolute gem, extremely sly and dispassionate, yet a character so full of self-assurance that one almost sides with him. Grace Kelly completes her great year (she gave an Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl and also starred in Rear Window) by emanating the poised, beautiful being, that is vulnerable, yet oddly unassailable. And it's weird in that even though she's cheating on her husband, you care for her a lot more than him (although that could do with the fact that he's trying to kill her...) And John Williams, as the police detective, is quite wonderful.

Alfred Hitchcock manipulates and enthrals his audience here like the master that he is. Each scene has a sense of direction, great pacing, and is staged realistically. Stunning full colour photography and a haunting, atmospheric score from Dimitri Tiomkin complete this great package. The ending, when it comes, feels a little too nice to be truly realistic, but that is my only major quibble with an otherwise highly entertaining, thrilling movie.


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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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