Irish Film Institute -DIAL M FOR MURDER



105 minutes, U.S.A., 1953, Colour, 35mm

For Hitchcock, this was a low-key project undertaken simply to keep going while he ‘recharged his batteries’ in preparation for something more ambitious – in the event, Rear Window

Dial M was a long-running stage success, adapted with minimal change by its author Frederick Knott, a throwback to earlier films in being set in England but shot in Hollywood. Despite its modest ambitions, it has worn well. Hitchcock is clearly in tune with the play’s themes of concealment, betrayal and murder; the radiance of Grace Kelly, in her first role for him, compensates for the men’s dullness; and the efficiency of the plot mechanism is pretty much foolproof.

The film was shot in the new 3D process, and some of the effects, notably involving a lethal pair of scissors, come across well even in the flat version.

Although the 3D version of Dial M For Murder proved unavailable for this retrospective, it will be screened at the IFI later in the year.

This event is part of The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock: Part Four, the final part of our complete retrospective of Hitchcock’s 52 surviving films (March 2nd – 31st).



Book Tickets