Dial M for Murder in 3D

Director Alfred Hitchcock accomplishes the near-impossible in his 1954 thriller Dial M for Murder. He makes his leading lady extremely sympathetic even though she’s having an extramarital affair. Her husband, the wronged party, remember, doesn’t come off quite as sympathetically — but then again, he’s a ruthless killer who spent a year planning his wife’s murder as punishment for her infidelity.

The casting for Murder is flawless: Grace Kelly, the most elegant of Hitchcock’s blonds, plays the wife, floating through the film’s early scenes in Edward Carrere’s high-fashion costumes. A restrained Ray Milland appears as her husband, equal parts suave and coldhearted.

The film, which took its name from the fact that the husband uses a phone call to set his seemingly perfect murder in motion, was shot in 1953 in “natural vision,” a then-new 3-D technique. By its 1954 release, 3-D was deemed too gimmicky and fans saw a 2-D version instead. Warner Brothers recently returned Murder to its original 3-D glory and it’s that restoration that screens today as part of Alamo Drafthouse’s Big Screen Classics series.

6:30 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Alamo Drafthouse — Mason, 531 South Mason. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com/houston. $9.
Sun., Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2014

 
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