Dial M for Murder is the Pick of the Week

An odd 1954 Hitchcock thriller caps off a week of low-key releases.
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There is a reason why the term "Hitchcockian" exists. Film history just wouldn't be what it is without good ol' Hitchcock. His film set the template for suspense, romance, danger, and old-fashioned leaps around censorship. He also knew how to pick his leading ladies, and the late, but super lovely Grace Kelly was one of his finest "Hitchcock blondes." She represented for him elegance, sophistication, and a little touch of mischief. Dial M for Murder, his 1954 effort, isn't the best film to highlight Kelly's legendary oomph, but it's still an interesting and twisty thriller. She plays the adulterous wife of a playboy husband (Ray Milland) who tries to do her in by hiring a killer, but things don't go quite as planned. For films by the Master of Suspense, that's quite literal. Robert Cummings plays Kelly's younger lover who is drawn into the story.

I guess it's ironic that for being a low-brow Hitch film, it is not exactly jam-packed with special features. The new Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray only includes a vintage documentary: Hitchcock and Dial M and the original theatrical trailer. It's in 3D, so it would most likely frustrate people who do enjoy the film. Despite the most hardcore Hitch fans who may scoff at the straighforward plot, Dial M is not his worst film. If you just love the film anyway, it could be a good addition to your collection, but you may want to have a little discretion, just in case.

Other releases that sound interesting:

The Cloud-Capped Star (Criterion Collection): A selfless young woman gives up her own happiness and freedom for her ungrateful, crass family. Something I can relate to, except for maybe the "selfless" part.

Casino: Scorsese's 1995 crime epic about low-class mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein who gets tapped into heading the Tangiers Casino. As he starts, he is very successful, but he eventually loses his way and his problems with the people in his life lead him closer to his doom. 

The Dead Don't Die: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself in the middle of a bloody zombie horde as the undead wake up from their graves and wreak havoc. Jim Jarmusch's latest, but divisive effort.

Scars of Dracula: A guy and his girlfriend find themselves trapped in Dracula's castle. In typical fashion, the girl is seduced by him and the young man must come to her rescue. A low-tier film in the Hammer canon.

A Touch of Class: George Segal and an Oscar-winning Glenda Jackson star as lovers involved in a tryst in London.

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