Possibly the attraction for Alfred Hitchcock to direct Dial M For Murder was simply that he wanted to try filming in 3D.
As it turned out,the film was never released in 3D when it came out in 1954. As Hitchcock said, “3D was a 9 day wonder and I came in on the 9th day.”
Although made in 1953 (at the height of interest in 3D), the film couldn’t be released until the play on which it was based had finished its stage run.With a story that takes place almost exclusively in an apartment, the need for 3D seems unnecessary.
Seeing a Hitchcock film on the big screen is a rare treat. Unfortunately, I didn’t like 3D – having to wear glasses was annoying and I felt the screen became smaller.
The film itself has a few flaws. Ray Milland is supposed to be a professional tennis player who has just retired a year earlier. – all I can say is he must have been on the Seniors tour!
All the business with the key could have been solved if Milland had made a copy of the key. (But then no story!)
Robert Cummings was poor casting – there was no chemistry with Grace Kelly.
I’ve read Hitchcock was already planning Rear Window while he was making Dial M For Murder. and then To Catch A Thief was to follow.
Dial M doesn’t quite measure up to these two!
John Williams ( so good as Chief Inspector Hubbard) was in the original stage version of the play – as was Anthony Dawson as the would be murderer,Lesgate.
Williams was so good ,it’s not surprising Hitch used him again in To Catch A Thief.
There was a TV version of Dial M in 1958 with three of the original stage cast – Williams,Dawson and Maurice Evans (who was Tony Wendice on stage). Rosemary Harris played Margot in the TV version. Would love to see it.
The poster design for the film is very dramatic, though in the film it has to be explained to us why Grace Kelly wouldn’t just walk up to the desk and pick up the phone in front of her. The attempted murder is well choreographed, especially with the cuts to Ray Milland at the other end of the phone!