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Your Such a Critic


THE QUESTION The phone has been an important part of thrillers and scary movies. Scream, Cellular, Phone Booth, When a Stranger Calls, anyone? When was the last time you nearly jumped out of your skin when a phone rang onscreen?


Absolutely, positively one of the greatest telephone suspense films is Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic Dial M for Murder. Grace Kelly stars as a philandering wife whose tennis-pro husband carries out a plot to murder her. In true Hitchcock fashion, things go horribly awry. It's available on DVD and I suggest making it a part of any mystery fan's film library.


The last time I nearly jumped out of my skin when a phone rang onscreen was certainly in the film Ringu and its remake, The Ring. However, the most cleverly used jumpy phone ring was in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear. It happens during a family dinner where the loud ring interrupts Nick Nolte's dialogue, which we listen to closely thanks to Nolte's raspy voice. It is the element of surprise, the sudden unexpected shock, that made it work.



You know the "type." Bruce Willis, action guy (Die Hard, etc.). Milla Jovovich, seductive slayer of whatever (Resident Evil, etc.). Certain actors seem to thrive on being pigeonholed, with Willis' cop adventure 16 Blocks and Jovovich's futuristic keister kicker Ultraviolet due next Friday. Not exactly a stretch for either. We wonder, have you ever identified with an actor so strongly in a certain role that you were jarred when he or she tried to exhibit "range"?

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