Dial M for Murder (1954) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Many film critics and audiences like to refer to Alfred Hitchcock as “the master of suspense.” His timeless films have a sublime quality to them because he does not use excessive blood and gore in order to frighten viewers. Instead, he taps into the emotions of the characters on screen as well as promotes an emotional catharsis for people who watch his seminal thrillers. Because of these miraculous qualities, Dial M for Murder is a marvelous motion picture even though it received hardly any recognition from the Academy as well as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

A Toast

Hitchcock masterfully adapts Frederick Knott’s stage play, and utilizes Knott’s equally impressive screenplay to bring to life this chilling murder mystery. Grace Kelly stars as one of the trademark blonde heroines that often characterize Hitchcock’s fascination with beautiful damsels in distress. Oscar-winner Ray Milland offers an impressive performance nearly an entire decade after winning the Academy Award for his leading role in The Lost Weekend (1945). It is a real shame that this film is highly underrated because the editing is very well-paced, and the film flows very smoothly.


Dial M for Murder is a great film for anyone wanting to unravel a mystery instead of passively watching a film. This film demonstrates how Hitchcock began to mature as a director years before producing some of his more famous work, especially Psycho (1960). An even more impressive fact is that this film is shot in color even though it contains the tension of a black-and-white thriller. This film is ultimately an example of film noir filled with color.

Dial M for Murder (1954) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever Grace Kelly changes her outfits

Take a Drink: whenever any of the characters use telephones

Drink a Shot: whenever any of the characters talk about murder, death, killing, or anything related to those morbid topics

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

One comment

  1. Nicely written review, which respects the reader by not providing any “spoiler” information. I have not seen this movie but am now inspired to do so.

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