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Screening of Dial M for Murder by Alfred Hitchcock at TIFF

Dial M for Murder, All Lights Film Magazine, ALFM

 

The Screening of Dial M for Murder by Alfred Hitchcock will be screened at TIFF on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 - 10 a.m

Dial M for Murder marked two firsts in the career of Alfred Hitchcock: it was the first film he made with Grace Kelly (whom he would later direct in Rear Window and To Catch a Thief), and it was the first and only film he ever made in 3-D. All the rage at the time, the format did little but annoy Hitchcock, who found the 3-D camera's enormous bulk distracting and inelegant; when the film was first released, it was largely seen in 2-D. However, despite his distaste for the format, in the famous "scissor scene" Hitchcock made one of the most startling and legendary uses of the effect in film history.

Based on the stage play by Frederick Knott, Dial M for Murder is confined largely to one interior set (a scenario that Hitchcock would repeat, to even more ingenious effect, in Rear Window), and Hitch uses the restriction to heighten the sense of claustrophobia. Worried that he might be in danger of losing his meal ticket, a retired London tennis pro (Ray Milland) sets out to murder his well-to- do wife (Grace Kelly) after discovering that she is having an affair with an American crime writer (Robert Cummings). Plotting out every single detail to a T, the malevolent hubby smugly puts his would-be perfect murder into action; but murder seldom goes perfectly, and when his plan backfires, he turns to an insidious Plan B.

Propelled by sterling performances from Milland and Kelly and Hitchcock’s masterful use of 3-D technology, this stunning restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic drawing-room thriller arrives for a limited run at TIFF Bell Lightbox fresh from its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

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