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

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Olivia Flores Alvarez