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Ray Banacki

"Dial M For Murder"

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When it is shown in its 3-D version, it is a great film - its claustrophia is overwhelming.

There seems to be no exit for the characters'

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Yes, but you find it rather dated now days?

(...I mean, nobody "dials" a phone anymore, ya know) 

;)

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50 minutes ago, Ray Banacki said:

Image result for dial m for murder

A classic play gets great performances.

It feels too much like a stage play instead of a movie. It's similar to ROPE, in that it's a little too confined to one particular living room set. I know Hitchcock tries to open it up a bit and include some exterior stuff, but it doesn't quite work for me. And much of the dialogue, particularly by Ray Milland's character, seems stilted. It's not surprising that when it was remade in the 80s with Angie Dickinson, it was done for television. It's okay as a telefilm. But not as a major motion picture. It's just not even close to things like TO CATCH A THIEF or NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

With ROPE I remain a bit more engaged, because I am curious about the director's gimmicks using the long takes. But here, I find very little to keep me engaged. Except for the murder itself. After Grace Kelly stabs the intruder with the scissors it becomes way too talky again. And it takes too long to get to the part where they set Milland up with the key.

I also think that while Bob Cummings is a charming actor, he's out of place in this sort of material. He feels very miscast to me. I know Hitch had worked with him earlier on SABOTEUR, but that story played to Cummings' weaknesses as a serious dramatic actor. Here he's supposed to be much steadier, as the romantic 'savior' for Kelly at the end.

Something like SUDDEN FEAR is much more effective...with Joan Crawford as the woman in peril, Jack Palance as the young villainous husband, Bruce Bennett as the steady pal, and Gloria Grahame as the femme fatale. That's another thing. There's no femme fatale in DIAL M FOR MURDER. The husband should have had a co-conspirator, a stronger reason for wanting to getting rid of the wife.

Dial B for boredom.

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I love the first half with Ray Milland blackmailing and then explaining the murder. It's all almost one continuous take. You don't see that much today. I think that's because older actors came from theatrical backgrounds. The murder scene is great. I also love the detective. It can be a bit talky, but the dialogue is never boring, so I stay entertained.

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yes, but you find it rather dated now days?

(...I mean, nobody "dials" a phone anymore, ya know) 

;)

Think of it as a "period piece".  

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Shucks, every movie released in 1954 is going to be 'dated' in 2020 to some extent.  Just depends on how much. 

I like DIAL M FOR MURDER.  It is talky, but I'm not bored. 

→ Hey, Dargo, in a similar vein of "nobody dials a phone anymore" how 'bout this nugget of 'stuff' nobody does anymore'?  Pull out the manual choke knob on a car and pump the gas pedal 3 or 4 times and then start the car.  With a key!  I did that Friday.  Took the '64 Falcon to the gas station and filled it full of fuel!  I even got to put the car in 'L', too!  :)  (It's a 2-speed automatic, you see). 

 

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11 hours ago, Ray Banacki said:

When it is shown in its 3-D version, it is a great film - its claustrophia is overwhelming.

Not to mention when it's watched on Blu-ray 3D, with the right sets.  😎

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With due respect, I really like DIAL M FOR MURDER. Many of the comments here are on target. As with any film there are flaws. For instance, Robert Cummings would not have been my first pick to play Mark. I have to confess that I'm a big fan of Grace Kelly .I like almost every movie she made before she "retired" to Monaco. However,  I struggled with her playing the role of an unfaithful wife. I much prefer her roles in REAR WINDOW or IT TAKES A THIEF.  In terms of my boyhood crushes she is right up there with Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn.

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14 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Shucks, every movie released in 1954 is going to be 'dated' in 2020 to some extent.  Just depends on how much. 

I like DIAL M FOR MURDER.  It is talky, but I'm not bored. 

→ Hey, Dargo, in a similar vein of "nobody dials a phone anymore" how 'bout this nugget of 'stuff nobody does anymore'?  Pull out the manual choke knob on a car and pump the gas pedal 3 or 4 times and then start the car.  With a key!  I did that Friday.  Took the '64 Falcon to the gas station and filled it full of fuel!  I even got to put the car in 'L', too!  :)  (It's a 2-speed automatic, you see). 

 

Well, how ELSE do you start a car?

By PUSHING A BUTTON?  :D 

Are you some punk kid who thinks the "start" button is a NEW IDEA?  :rolleyes:

When I first saw newer cars showing the available I had to laugh.   Up until the '50's(and a bit beyond) ALL cars required one to push a button(Dash mounted or in the floorboard)  to start the engine.  Of course, a key was needed to turn the "juice" on for the starter to work, and I don't see much difference between then and now as far as it goes.

As for the movie,  the only issue I have is the ease in which Milland had in talking  Swann into committing the murder.  Certainly, the rap for whatever crime he was being blackmailed for couldn't be near as bad as a murder rap.   And I may be the only one, but I also have no issue with any of Bob Cummings' dramatic roles.  

Sepiatone

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Shortly before he died, I worked on a project with Frederick Knott (1916-2002), who wrote Dial M for Murder. He was a lovely man, also wrote Wait Until Dark. Maurice Evans played Tony Wendice in the original Broadway production (1952-1954). John Williams played Inspector Hubbard in the play, as he did in the movie. There have been a few television versions. The play actually premiered one the BBC in 1952, before opening on a London stage, a few months before coming to Broadway.

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The 1958 NBC television version with John Williams (left), Maurice Evans, and Rosemary Harris.

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5 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

→ Hey, Dargo, in a similar vein of "nobody dials a phone anymore" how 'bout this nugget of 'stuff nobody does anymore'?  Pull out the manual choke knob on a car and pump the gas pedal 3 or 4 times and then start the car.  With a key! 

Hey with my 49 Chevy pickup it was that too but you not only had to pull out the manual choke knob and pump the gas pedal 3 or 4 times , but turn the key and step on the starter button of the floor.

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When you wat ch the 3-D version, you are mesmerized by the care and skill Hitchcock put into the productiin.

and

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There's apparently a 1967 British TV version of DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER starring the one and only Laurence Harvey as 'Tony Wendice'. 

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I like Dial M for Murder, too. It's entertaining and with a clever plot. Ray Milland and Grace Kelly are fine, but John Williams gives my favorite performance in the film.

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43 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

There's apparently a 1967 British TV version of DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER starring the one and only Laurence Harvey as 'Tony Wendice'. 

Hmmm, I know this one Canadian dude who won't be searchin' THAT version out, anyway!

(...and even though Mr. Harvey would seem perfectly cast in the Milland role, and probably even better cast in that role and considering Millard is usually the more likable type in films...Harvey usually not so much)

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17 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Hey with my 49 Chevy pickup it was that too but you not only had to pull out the manual choke knob and pump the gas pedal 3 or 4 times , but turn the key and step on the starter button of the floor.

Too bad you somehow had GORMAN'S post attributed as a quote from ME!  :wacko:   I WAS responding with( If you go back and read, and I mean READ)  the fact that starting a car with just the turn of a key was new technology back in the late '40's-early '50's, and pressing or stepping on a starter button isn't really a new concept SANS.  :rolleyes:  And before some car maker tries pushing off another old thing as new to millennials, my '60  Ford Falcon had a button on the floor that worked the WINDSHIELD WASHERS, and for DECADES the BRIGHT BEAMS of a car's headlights were also triggered by a floor button.  

Sepiatone

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And now in somewhat of a coincidental turn of events...

I wonder if Betty here might be dialing m for murder on her car phone here???

car-phones-1476934848288.jpg

 

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HA!  So, this "distracted driving" thing ain't new either, eh?  ;) 

Notice too, she's got that "push button" trans as well.  I had a car with that('64 Dodge Dart) and got quickly tired of all the "Got enough CHANGE to drive to work on?" jokes.   

Sepiatone

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14 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

HA!  So, this "distracted driving" thing ain't new either, eh?  ;) 

Notice too, she's got that "push button" trans as well.  I had a car with that('64 Dodge Dart) and got quickly tired of all the "Got enough CHANGE to drive to work on?" jokes.   

Sepiatone

I hadn't noticed the transmission push buttons before you mentioned it here Sepia, but as I posted that pic, I did kind'a think "Betty's" car was probably some late-'50s Mopar product due the curve of its A-pillar.

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33 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Too bad you somehow had GORMAN'S post attributed as a quote from ME!  :wacko:   I WAS responding with( If you go back and read, and I mean READ)  the fact that starting a car with just the turn of a key was new technology back in the late '40's-early '50's, and pressing or stepping on a starter button isn't really a new concept SANS.  :rolleyes:  And before some car maker tries pushing off another old thing as new to millennials, my '60  Ford Falcon had a button on the floor that worked the WINDSHIELD WASHERS, and for DECADES the BRIGHT BEAMS of a car's headlights were also triggered by a floor button.  

Sepiatone

My 49 Chevy half ton also had these cheesy vacuum windshield wipers that would slow down when you climbed up to the top of a pass then sped up on the downhill coast.  It also had a side lever down by your left leg that opened a vent. Just below the dash was another direct lever to open a cowl vent that popped up  behind the hood.  

My 46 International PU was actually more advanced than the Chevy in some areas.  It had electric two speed wipers, the same kind of cowl vent as the Chevy but for the ultimate in cab ventilation it had a crank that actually tilted the whole windshield out (it was hinged at the top)

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Heh.  I had a '67 Plymouth Belvedere  with those pull open under-dash vents that when on the freeway, and with the back windows opened about an inch, moved air through the cab that felt as good as any factory air.   

Sepiatone

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Can swithin tell me about KNOTT'S neglected thriller, "Write Me A Murder"?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

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