Dial M for Murder
Personal Lessons and Insights


July 7, 2005


Brief Plot Summary

A man plots the murder of his wife, but then is forced to watch his scheme slowly unravel.


Interesting Character

As you might expect for a murder mystery, I found Chief Inspector Hubbard's character to be the most interesting. This was especially true in his early scenes where his few words (and darting eyes) indicated to me a depth of knowledge and thought which he revealed to all at the end of the movie.


Interesting Scene

I was fascinated by the many times throughout the movie where Mr Wendice was required to make up an answer to explain away an apparent contradiction. Ray Milland, as an actor, was able to perfectly capture that special moment where one stalls for time as one's brain is scouring for a plausible explanation that will be reasonable in the current moment and provide the least contradictions later. "To be honest, I won that money at the dog track." "To tell you the truth, I didn't want you to know I was gambling while my wife was in jail". "The fact is, I was calling her to get the telephone number for my boss's country home".  Especially delightful was the stopped wristwatch and then waiting for the phone. Both the screenwriter and director Hitchcock were masterful in delivering these small turns of the rope.


Something this film made me think about.

This movie was a great murder-mystery, but without any particular life lesson. Maybe Mark Halliday's (Bob Cummings) movie line was best: "Murder plots always work best in a book, but in real life some little thing always goes wrong to mess them up."

Original Web Upload July 2005
Last Update: July 7, 2005