Dial M For Murder

"Dial M for Murder" (1954) Alfred Hitchcock directed this thriller based on the Frederick Knott play set in the London flat of a former tennis player (Ray Milland), who is married to a beautiful young woman (Grace Kelly) mainly for her money. After learning of her affair with a crime writer (Robert Cummings), Milland's Tony plans his wife's murder. "Dial M" is best known for the scene of Kelly grabbing a pair of scissors to defend herself. "The 3-D is so subtle in most of the film that when it really gets out there with the scissors scene, the audience really reacts to it," Joseph says. "That's why it works so well. It's a terrific scene. That movie plays a lot better in 3-D than it does flat. It's a very stagy movie. But when you watch it in 3-D, you feel like there is some depth to it. Because the 3-D format was dying out by the time "Dial M" was set to open, Warner Bros. ended up releasing it in the flat, 2-D version. In fact, when the old Tiffany revival theater in West Hollywood showed the 3-D version a few decades ago, the theater's owner, Tom Cooper, advertised that it was the first time "Dial M" had been shown in public in 3-D. "We all thought that was true," Joseph says. "We knew that Warners sent it out in 1954 in 3-D, but it didn't play that way. I have ads from the Wednesday it opened saying in '3-D,' and the next day, the ads don't say 3-D. Literally, the Tuesday [before it opened] Warners decided not to release it in 3-D. However, we recently found a small theater in the middle of nowhere Tennessee that ran 'Dial M' in 3-D for three days in 1954."
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