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Dial M for Murder (1954)

Written By Awir Aditya on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | 9:19 AM

Genre: Crime/Drama/Mystery

Starring: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams, Anthony Dawson

Alfred Hitchcock, murder and crime in the same sentence go very well together. His movies have spearheaded the crime and murder investigation genre and put a heavy focus on detectives. Tony Wendice (Milland) is a reasonably well to do, married middle-aged man who used to love to play tennis. He married Margot (Kelly) who didn't want him to pursue the sport and for whom he was forced to give it up. Margot has an affair with an American crime novelist Mark Halliday (Cummings) about whom Tony later learnt about. His regret for leaving tennis for his wife and now she leaving him for another man pushed him to the edge where he started plotting her murder. His carefully crafted plan involved C. J. Swan aka Captain Lesgate (Dawson) who was to execute the plan and murder his wife. Yet the most well-crafted plan always has a flaw, the most obvious flaw that is undetectable but yet too obvious. The movie crafts a perfect mystery and the character of Tony Wendice, the smart and thoughtful man who thinks far and thinks well does justice to the plot. The only chink in the movies erstwhile formidable armour is in the plot itself. The entire crime scene is revealed early on in the movie with the murder itself taking place. Now that you know exactly what happened, it's only a matter of solving it. This leaves little room for a climax and a stunning end since the audience is more or less prepared for the outcome. A great murder mystery nonetheless which is simple and sweet, to the point and does not have any complicated parallel stories to lose focus of the main plot.

Thumbs up: Great performances and good crime scene
Thumbs down: Not a very strong suspense and climax

Rating: 7.6/10
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