My new favourite Hitchcock film?


dial_m_for_murder

5 Stars


I may have found a new favourite Hitchcock film.  I got on another little Hitchcock kick recently and have watched several of the films I had been missing in my collection.  I watched Rebecca and Suspicion, both of which I loved; but just as I was realizing my infatuation with Joan Fontaine, I fell in love all over again with Grace Kelly after watching Dial M For Murder.  Grace is the perfect Hitchcock blonde.  My conundrum is that I thought my all time favourite Hitchcock film was Rear Window, starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.  Could it have been bumped to number two?


Dial M For Murder just seemed to be the perfect Hitchcock film.  It had suspense, a bit of horror, a nice plot, great acting, a great cast, a nice set of twists, it was set in England, everything was excellent.  Hitchcock apparently was in a bit of a slump at the time so when he wanted to make a winning film he chose to adapt the play of the same name.  His philosophy was that when you find a great play you just shoot it.  Well, he did, very little was changed in the script and the movie really does play out like a stage production.  It takes place mainly in one room (the Wendice’s apartment) and the actors move to the camera a lot, rather than the camera moving to them (though there are some great sweeping shots where Hitchcock pivots the camera around to pull in other characters).  I won’t bog you down with the details of the plot other than to say that a man comes up with “the perfect murder” plan to kill his wife which of course doesn’t play out as he would have hoped.


Rear Window on the other hand handles a murder in a much different manner.  Our hero James Stewart observes what he believes to be his neighbour killing his wife and disposing of her body from across the boulevard.  Trapped in his own apartment by a broken leg, his girlfriend Grace Kelly does the “legwork” for him investigating and putting herself in peril.  The suspense is intense, and again the acting and cast are absolute top notch.  Rear Window is not quite as straightforward a tale as Dial M, which really comes across as more of a traditional “whodunnit”.


Why do I feel I am being unfaithful to my first film love?  Is this just a reminder to watch my old favourite again?  Or should I just be thankful that I’ve found two tremendous films and stop playing favourites?


Bottom Line: I suppose at the end of the day, I can quote the Black Knight from Monty Python’s Holy Grail and just call it a draw.

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Posted on 14-09-05, in 5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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