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Dial M for Murder (1954)

aka Dial M for Murder

""...is that you, darling?""

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 104 mins · English · PG (USA)

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Cast:

Small Tony Wendice
Small Margot Mary Wendice
Small Mark Halliday
Small Chief Inspector Hubbard
No_movie_poster Charles Alexander Swann aka Captain Lesgate
No_movie_poster The Storyteller
Small Detective Pearson
No_movie_poster Detective Williams
No_movie_poster Police Sergeant
Small Man at Tony's Table at the Dinner in Photograph

Crew:

Small Alfred Hitchcock Director
No_movie_poster Robert Burks Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Dimitri Tiomkin Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster George James Hopkins Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Gordon Bau Makeup Artist
No_movie_poster Frederick Knott Author
No_movie_poster Rudi Fehr Editor
No_movie_poster Edward Carrere Art Direction
No_movie_poster Oliver S. Garretson Sound Designer
Small Alfred Hitchcock Production
No_movie_poster Frederick Knott Story Contributor

Taglines:

""...is that you, darling?""

"It Holds You Spellbound with Suspense!"

"Murder calling in 3D! (1978 re-release)"

"If a woman answers...hang on for dear life!"

"Is this the man she was waiting for... or the man who was waiting for her?"

Plot:

Tony Wendice is an ex-professional tennis player who lives in a London flat with his wealthy wife Margot. Tony retired after Margot complained about his busy schedule, and she began an affair with American crime-fiction writer Mark Halliday, which Tony secretly discovered. Motivated by resentment, jealousy, and greed, Tony devises a plan to have Margot murdered.


When Mark visits England, Margot introduces him to Tony as a casual acquaintance. After sending the two lovers out for the evening, Tony makes an excuse to meet at the flat with petty criminal C.A. Swann, an old acquaintance from Cambridge. Tony has been following Swann in order to blackmail him into committing the murder. Tony tells Swann of Margot's affair, including a love letter from Mark which she once kept in her handbag. Six months ago, Tony stole the handbag and anonymously blackmailed her. After tricking Swann into leaving his fingerprints on the letter, Tony offers to pay him £1,000 to kill Margot. If he refuses, Tony will turn him in to the police as the blackmailer.


When Swann agrees, Tony explains his plan. He will take Mark to a party, leaving Margot at home and hiding her latchkey under the carpet on the staircase outside the front door of the flat. Swann is to sneak into the flat after Margot goes to bed and hide behind the curtains in front of the French doors leading to the garden. When Tony telephones from the party at 11 p.m., Margot will go to the phone. Swann is to kill her from behind, open the French doors, and leave signs suggesting a burglary gone wrong, then exit through the front door, again hiding the key under the staircase carpet.


The plan works until Tony phones the flat later than intended, as his watch has stopped. Swann, about to give up waiting, has already put the key back under the staircase carpet when the phone rings. He tries to strangle Margot with a scarf, but she defends herself with a pair of scissors, killing him. She then picks up the telephone receiver and pleads for help. Realizing the plan has gone wrong, Tony tells her not to do anything. At home, he calls the police and sends Margot to bed. Then he moves what he assumes is Margot's latchkey from Swann's pocket into her handbag, plants Mark's letter on Swann, and replaces Swann's scarf with one of Margot's stockings. He also persuades Margot to hide the fact that he told her not to call the police.


The next day, Chief Inspector Hubbard questions the Wendices and Margot makes several conflicting statements. When Hubbard explains that Swann must have entered through the front door, Tony falsely claims to have seen Swann after Margot's handbag was stolen and suggests that Swann made a copy of her key. Hubbard does not believe that story because no key was found on Swann. Hubbard arrests Margot after concluding that she killed Swann for blackmailing her with Mark's letter when he came to collect. Margot is found guilty and sentenced to death for murder.


On the day before her scheduled execution, Mark tries to persuade Tony to save her by telling the police that he hired Swann to kill her. Tony refuses, insisting the story is too unrealistic, just before Hubbard arrives. With Mark hiding in the bedroom, Hubbard asks Tony about money he has been spending lately, tricks him into revealing that his latchkey is in his raincoat, and asks him about an attaché case. Tony claims to have lost the case, but Mark notices it on the bed, full of cash. Realizing that the story he thought he had invented is true, Mark stops Hubbard from leaving and explains his theory. Hubbard claims to prefer Tony's story that Margot gathered the money to pay Swann before deciding to kill him, but after Mark leaves, Hubbard discreetly swaps his own raincoat with Tony's, and as soon as Tony has left, he uses Tony's key to re-enter the flat. He really does suspect Tony, having discovered that the key in Margot's handbag was Swann's.


Mark returns after seeing Tony leave. Meanwhile, on Hubbard's orders, police officers release Margot. She tries to unlock the door with the key in her purse, then enters through the garden, proving she is unaware of the hidden key. Hubbard has the handbag returned to the police station, where Tony retrieves it after discovering that he has no key. When he is unable to unlock the front door with the key from the bag, he takes Margot's key from the staircase and opens the door, proving his guilt. With his escape routes blocked by Hubbard and another policeman, Tony makes himself a drink, after he admits defeat.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1954-05-28 : New York City

Theatrical : 1954-05-29 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1954-10-27 : Japan

Theatrical : 1954-11-12 : Finland

Theatrical : 1954-12-03 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1954-12-23 : Madrid

Theatrical : Austria

Theatrical : 1955-01-24 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1955-02-02 : France

Theatrical : 1955-03-10 : Norway

Theatrical : 1955-05-17 : Portugal

Theatrical : 1955-07-18 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1955-07-27 : Greece

Theatrical : Turkey

Theatrical : 1963-06-07 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1967-01-02 : Denmark

Theatrical : San Francisco

Theatrical : France

Theatrical : 1984-10-05 : Finland

Theatrical : 1993-12-31 : Australia

Theatrical : 1999-04-09 : New York City

Theatrical : 2001-10-31 : France

Theatrical : 2003-06-18 : France

Theatrical : 2004-01-02 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2004-05-19 : France

Theatrical : 2006-04-05 : France

Theatrical : 2010-06-10 : Greece

Theatrical : 2011-02-16 : France

Television : 1971-04-06 : Spain

Television : 1971-12-06 : West Germany

Television : 1981-10-17 : German Democratic Republic

2005-06-17 : Finland

2010-01-29 : Netherlands

2012-09-06 : Canada