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Please note that the screening of Dial M for Murder scheduled to take place at 2:45 PM on Thursday October 11th has had a start time change. The film will now screen at 1:15pm. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Alfred Hitchcock’s devilish drawing-room thriller, about a retired tennis pro (Ray Milland) who plans the "perfect" murder of his adulterous wife (Grace Kelly), is revived in a new, eye-popping 3-D digital restoration.
"A murder without gleaming scissors is like asparagus without the hollandaise sauce — tasteless." – Alfred Hitchcock
Dial M for Murder marked two firsts in the career of Alfred Hitchcock: it was the first film he made with Grace Kelly (whom he would later direct in Rear Window and To Catch a Thief), and it was the first and only film he ever made in 3-D. All the rage at the time, the format did little but annoy Hitchcock, who found the 3-D camera's enormous bulk distracting and inelegant; when the film was first released, it was largely seen in 2-D. However, despite his distaste for the format, in the famous "scissor scene" Hitchcock made one of the most startling and legendary uses of the effect in film history.
Based on the stage play by Frederick Knott, Dial M for Murder is confined largely to one interior set (a scenario that Hitchcock would repeat, to even more ingenious effect, in Rear Window), and Hitch uses the restriction to heighten the sense of claustrophobia. Worried that he might be in danger of losing his meal ticket, a retired London tennis pro (Ray Milland) sets out to murder his well-to- do wife (Grace Kelly) after discovering that she is having an affair with an American crime writer (Robert Cummings). Plotting out every single detail to a T, the malevolent hubby smugly puts his would-be perfect murder into action; but murder seldom goes perfectly, and when his plan backfires, he turns to an insidious Plan B.
Though he may have disapproved of 3-D, the famous scissor scene illustrates Hitchcock's typically masterful grasp of new cinematic technologies. In any event, the burdensome process did nothing to distract from Hitchcock's signature visual strategies, particularly his use of colour (witness how Kelly's dresses shift from white to red when her adultery is revealed). Propelled by sterling performances from Milland and Kelly, this near-perfect thriller is presented here in a new, 3-D digital restoration.