This Month in Film History – May 28, 1954: Alfred Hitchcock’s New Film ‘Dial M for Murder’ Hits Theaters

The 1950s were a very productive decade for English film director Alfred Hitchcock. He ,” had been in films for nearly three decades as the year 1950 began, a time when most director’s lose their creative zeal. This, however, was not Hitchcock. he had more to say in the medium of film. On this month of May in 1954 – May 28, 1954 – Hitchcock would release of the lesser known, though equally important films in the director’s canon of films, Dial M for Murder.

Dial M for Murder was based on a stageplay of t same name written by English playwright Frederick Knott, who would also write the screenplay as well. The film would star 1930s and 40 Ray Millland and Grace Kelly. The two were perfect examples of the director’s many obssesions that he would constantly weave into his films.

The plot as disemenated by Wikipedia:

” Tony Wendice (Ray Milland), an English professional tennis player, is married to wealthy socialite Margot (Grace Kelly), who has had an affair with American crime-fiction writer Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). When Tony retires from tennis, he secretly discovers the affair and decides to murder Margot, both for revenge and to ensure that her money will continue to finance his comfortable lifestyle.

Hitchcock, however, wasn’t very fond of the film. He hated the stage play. From The Guardian

I’m not sure why Hitchcock never really owned Dial M for Murder. Perhaps it was because he owed Warner Brothers a film and just wanted it out of the way before his move to Paramount. Perhaps the tacky novelty of shooting in 3D irritated him (although by all accounts he did an artisan’s job of that too, even if most cinemas chose to run the standard version). Maybe he was bored by a story that, bar the attempted murder, relies little on surprise or suspense to entertain the audience: it’s less whodunit, more hedunit and will he get away with it?”

Whatever the reason, many have found joy in this classic film from one of the cinema’s greatest directors. To some, this month of May will always be remembered in film history. May 28, 1954 was the day Dial M for Murder would debut in theaters.