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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Dial M For Murder

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In the pantheon of Hitchcock films, Dial M For Murder often gets overlooked, perhaps overshadowed by the classic that followed it, Rear Window. But Dial M – which airs on AMC Thursday at 11PM and Friday at 4 AM – deserves a closer look.  It’s one of Hitchcock’s more clever, wordy thrillers and its use of color and camera perspective is downright experimental. Killer ending, too, which I won’t spoil here.

Make the jump and find out 7 things you probably didn’t know about Dial M For Murder.

1.  Dial M For Murder was a popular mystery play by Frederick Knott and
a successful Broadway show before Hitchcock got hold of it. Hitchcock
chose to film the story like a play — most of the action takes place
in a single room. Hitchcock had the floor made of real tiles to capture
the sound of footsteps in order to emphasize the theatrical aspect of
the film.

2.  Hitchcock’s signature cameo appearance occurs about 13 minutes into
the film – his image looks out from a college photo album.

3.  Hitchcock conducted what he called “a color experiment” while
staging the film. He dressed Grace Kelly in bright colors at the start
of the film; as the plot thickens, her clothes become progressively
more somber.

4.  At the instance of Warner Brothers, Dial M For Murder was shot in
3-D, at the height of the 3-D craze in the 1950s. The 3-D version was
released only briefly in movie houses, replaced by a conventional 2-D
version. The original 3-D version was reissued in 1980.

5.  In order to exploit the 3-D effect, Hitchcock had a camera pit dug
so that the camera could shoot from floor level. Specific objects are
projected in depth throughout the film, including a lamp, a flower
vase, and a pair of scissors.

6. The film was shot in only 36 days. Hitchcock would release two films in 1954 – Dial M For Murder and Rear Window.

7. One of film’s biggest fans is French director Francois Truffaut. The
longtime Hitchcock admirer wrote of Dial M For Murder, “This is one of
the pictures I see over and over again. I enjoy it more every time I
see it.”

Also check out:

Hitchcock’s Wittiest Quotes

The Birds Still Fly in Bodega Bay


Hopkins to Play Hitchcock in Biopic

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