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Dial M for Murder

Dial M for Murder was produced in 1953 and released in 1954.

Francois Truffaut. Now, we come to 1953, the year in which you made Dial M for Murder.
Alfred Hitchcock. There isn't very much we can say about that one, is there?
Francois Truffaut: Hitchcock


Ray Milland... Tony Wendice
Grace Kelly... Margot Mary Wendice
Robert Cummings... Mark Halliday
John Williams... Chief Inspector Hubbard
Anthony Dawson... Captain Lesgate - aka Charles Alexander Swann
Leo Britt... The Storyteller
Patrick Allen... Detective Pearson
George Leigh... Detective Williams
George Alderson... First Detective
Robin Hughes... Police Sergeant O'Brien

Murder scenes


Strangulation motif

The Lodger, 1926/1927  
Number Seventeen, 1931/1932 The bum is "strangled" in the bathroom by Sheldrake
Secret Agent, 1935/1936 The organ player in Langenthal is strangled.
Sabotage, 1936 The film the boy soon to be bombed is carrying is "Bartholomew the Strangler"
Young and Innocent, 1937/1938 Christine (Pamela Carme) is strangled with a rain coat belt.
The Lady Vanishes, 1937/1938  
Jamaica Inn, 1938/1939 The thiefs try to hang Jem suspecting him of stealing from the goods
Shadow of a Doubt, 1942/1943  
Notorious 1945-46/1946  
Rope 1948 David is killed with a rope.
Stage Fright, 1949/1950 The murderer (Jonathan) almost succeeds in strangling Eve Gill in the theatre.
Strangers on a Train, 1950/1951 Marion is strangled by Bruno.
Dial M for Murder, 1953/1954 Margo is almost strangled during the murder attempt.
Rear Window 1953/1954 Thorwald tries to strangle Jeff when they meet.
The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956  
Torn Curtain, 1965-66/1966  
Frenzy, 1971/1972 The rapist serial killer uses a necktie.

Some examples of the blackmail theme and where it occurs in Hitchcock's films

Blackmail, 1929

Tracy (Donald Calthrop) is blackmailing Alice (Anny Ondra, dubbed by Joan Barry) and Frank (John Longden). He saw that Alice was at the artist the night he was killed; ha also has one of her gloves, which can be used as evidence against her.

Rebecca 1939/1940

Rebecca's lover Jack Favell (George Sanders) tries to blackmail Maxim showing him a letter from Rebecca urging him excitedly to meet her, which seems to suggest she was not suicidal.

Stage Fright, 1949/1950

When Nellie Goode (Kay Walsh) uncovers the deception that is going on, Eve (Jane Wyman) manages to buy her off with blackmail money. With time running out, she persuades Smith (Michael Wilding) to accompany her to a garden party where Charlotte (Marlene Dietrich) is singing on stage in a large tent.

I Confess, 1952/1953

The murderered lawyer blackmailed the Ruth Grandfort (Anne Baxter) who was in love with Father Logan (Montgomery Clift)

Dial M for Murder, 1953/1954

Tony (Ray Milland) has been investigating Captain Lesgate - aka Charles Alexander Swann (Anthony Dawson) in order to blackmail him into committing the murder. Tony tells Swann of Margot's affair, including a love letter from Mark (Robert Cummings) 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 (Grace Kelly). If he refuses, Tony will turn him in to the police as the blackmailer.





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