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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dial M for Murder

I didn't have anything to do tonight, and I had the house to myself so I thought, why not watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie with "murder" in the title? Some quick thoughts...

The theme of the movie is how hard it is to commit the perfect murder. Ray Milland is the ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice who has discovered that his wife, the astonishingly beautiful Grace Kelly, is having an affair with an American mystery novelist (Robert Cummings). His murder plot is impressively well thought out, until it goes completely wrong. Wendice is a cool customer, and cleverer than your average movie bad guy. When his wife kills the man hired to kill her, Wendice manages to subtly turn the situation in his favor even still. From there it's up to Cummings and a rather too-silly British police officer to figure out what's really happening before it's too late.

As an aspiring writer, I felt a great deal of admiration for Frederic Knott, who wrote the play upon which the movie is based. This is an extremely well thought out plot. Every action has repercussions, every action has a motive, and every question that the viewer might come up with is eventually answered. That's very rare in movies with such a twisting, surprising plot.

I'll give it 8.8 out of 10.

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