Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams, Anthony Dawson, Patrick Allen
Some critics regard Dial M for Murder as second-tier Hitchcock, due to its adherence to earlier Hitchian tropes and the simplistic handling of them. But such an evaluation seems unfair once you revisit the bare-bones 1954 thriller, about a professional athlete (Ray Milland) who arranges to have his beautiful wife (the radiant Grace Kelly) murdered on suspicions that she's committing infidelity.
Based on playwright Frederick Knott's stage production (Knott also wrote the film's screenplay), Dial M for Murderis lean, mean, and packed with narrative surprises, particularly during the midway homicide attempt, a dynamite sequence that's a real tour-de-force for Ms. Kelly.
The film is also noteworthy for being the only time Hitchcock shot with 3D technology, a move that, unsurprisingly, angered his most passionate fans. He also struggled with the bulkier camera while shooting, efforts that, in his lifetime, were for naught, since Dial M for Murder was eventually released "flat" into theaters.