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.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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