dial m for murder

January 6, 2008

so i get the two alfred hitchcock box sets for christmas and it’s all perfectly set up for this month’s schedule. open it up, put in shadow of a doubt, get about halfway through it and find out that it’s got some sort of defect on it. i’ve got to send back the set to amazon so that i can get my full hitchcock fix. so instead of shadow of a doubt we will be talking about dial m for murder.

i’m going to get a littler spoilery about it so if you don’t want to know, stop reading…………..now.

so earlier in the day i watched zodiac in preparation for the filmspots (refrenced in an earlier post). and unless you are completely unaware of the real life zodiac killings you know that they never actually caught the killer. and i thought the entire way through this film that it was going to be the same case. i wasn’t sure if i could take another criminal getting away with murder (or almost murder).

i don’t know if the ending is great, or if it is a little too coincidental. it’s not so far fetched that i wouldn’t believe swan would put the key back, but it is one of those instances where you are trying to piece together the facts and the film sort of withholds the one big clue that would blow the whole case wide open. i can’t decide quite how i feel about it. they do sort of give you the idea of it in halliday’s final little plea to wendice to concoct a story to get margot out of jail, but that is right before they reveal the ending.

that being said, i really loved it. hitchcock really is the master of suspense. i was on edge the entire time waiting for wendice to slip up and the police find out. i also think that hitchcock benefits from great scripts. almost all of the information in this film, at least in the first half, is given through exposition and the majority of the entire film takes place in that one small apartment.

i think a really interesting read could be done on the scene when wendice meets swan and slowly, bit by bit, reveals why he brought him to his home. especially this one long unbroken take where wendice and swan are sitting down separated by the desk lamp.

all in all it’s a really great film. one that i am very interested in viewing again.

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