8.2/10
140,904
318 user 99 critic

Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | | Crime, Thriller | 29 May 1954 (USA)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A tennis player frames his unfaithful wife for first-degree murder after she inadvertently hinders his plan to kill her.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Frederick Knott (screen play), Frederick Knott (adapted from his play)
Reviews
Popularity
4,195 ( 2,558)
Top Rated Movies #158 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Rope (1948)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Adventure | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Rear Window (1954)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Rebecca (1940)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
Vertigo (1958)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
The Birds (1963)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Psycho (1960)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Is this the man she was waiting for... or the man who was waiting for her? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dial 'M' for Murder See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,562, 11 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,562, 11 April 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,080,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alfred Hitchcock had chosen a very expensive robe for Grace Kelly to wear when she answered the phone. Kelly balked, and said that no woman would put on such a robe, just to answer the ringing telephone while she was asleep alone, but would answer it in her nightgown. Hitchcock agreed to do it her way and liked the way the rushes turned out. Hitchcock agreed to allow Kelly to make all costume decisions for her in their subsequent movie together, afterwards. See more »

Goofs

When Margot shows Mark the second blackmail letter, she starts to say her next line before her cue. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title is shown on a background of a British telephone dial; its MN/6 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 Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
M for masterful
4 September 2010 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

A treat for the eyes and exercise for the brain, "Dial M For Murder" is Hitchcock's second "drawing-room perfect murder" movie, after "Rope", the latter a darker and more sinister affair altogether. Hitchcock himself in interviews played down the quality of this movie, amongst other other things indicating that it was treated almost as a warm-up for the more ambitious "Rear Window" which immediately followed it in his career.

However. it actually has a lot going for it, being beautifully shot in luminous colour, extremely well acted in almost every role and peppered throughout with those eye-catching and brain-satisfying flourishes which so distinguished the director from the rest.

Yes, it is very set-bound, betraying its stage origins and likewise very talky, especially on exposition, but it keeps the viewer alert throughout and delivers a neatly satisfying conclusion. I do wish Hitchcock could have done better with his back-projection unit (an old-fashioned, jarring trait he still hadn't grown out of by "Marnie" some 10 years later) and I occasionally found the constant too frivolous background music an intrusion, but it's well paced throughout, helped considerably by an on-form cast.

Ray Milland is excellent in a kind of darker Cary Grant type persona, Grace Kelly (who'd want to murder her?) goes convincingly from loveliness to wretchedness while it's pleasing to see Robert Cumming to the fore, recalled by Hitch for the first time in over a decade ("since "Saboteur" in 1942). The actors playing the would be murderer and nosey police inspector are just fine too.

About those flourishes..., perhaps the most famous being the changing spotlight on Grace Kelly's doomed face as her trial is condensed into just a few terse minutes and of course the murder scene itself, even if one can't imagine her extended stabbing gesture being strong enough to cut through Swann's jacket far less kill him stone dead, but I also enjoyed the raised tracking shot looking down on Milland as he explains his plot to Swann and particularly the parting shadows of lovers Cumming and Kelly at Milland's unexpected approach.

Yes, it's old fashioned Hollywood movie-making, but it's old-fashioned Hollywood movie-making at its best and in my opinion an unjustly overlooked effort from the Master.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 318 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed