A couple of questions about "Dial M For Murder."

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by cafink, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I've never seen Hitchcock's "Dial M For Murder." I've been really itching to, though, and lucky for me, it comes on television tonight.

    Mainly, I'd just like to know if it's "safe" to watch. My biggest fear is that it'll be a pan and scan version. It was released in 1954, which, if I'm not mistaken, is right around the time Hollywood started shooting films in widescreen, so I imagine it could go either way.

    I checked IMDB, and sure enough, they list it as 1.37:1. They're not always 100% reliable, though, so I'd really appreciate confirmation from someone in-the-know.

    Also, the IMDB lists the film's cinematographic process as "3-D." What exactly do they mean by this? Was this shot in 3-D originally and viewed with a pair of silly glasses? Exactly what implications does this have on viewing the film at home?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I have seen it many times, and had NO clue it was shot in 3-D! In retrospect, I can see how some scenes were intended to be shown in that format.
    I researched it online just now and found that Hitchcock didn't like 3-D much (according to a quote:"A nine-day wonder, and I came in on the ninth day"), and it was never released in 3-D until after his death, since the trend had died down by the time the movie was finished.
    So I wouldn't worry too much about that, if it was good enough for Hitch, it's good enough for me. [​IMG]
    It's a GREAT movie, and I hope you catch it tonight!
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    A non-3D version was released after the original theatre run.
    This film is arguably (actually almost without argument) the best example of what could have been done with 3D (other than have spears thrown at the audience) as an overall part of the cinematography, used as an aid to further the story and to make dramatic statements.
    Most of the 3D movies at the time, were just over the top, likely in an effort to fill seats. Hitchcock used 3D in this movie in some very subtle ways. I consider it a loss that we can’t see the film in 3D. And I don’t think that too many on this forum have seen it, as I have so far been unable to even get it into a tournament over in the polls area.
    And, Rain, I also saw The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D. [​IMG]
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Quite the enjoyable experience. The Plaza, a repetory cinema in Calgary used to play this as the midnight show from time to time when I lived there.
    If you ever get the chance to see it in 3D, consider it highly recommended!
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I can't verify it, but everything I found on the internet about the movie said that it wasn't released initially in 3-D, because the interest in it had died down. It was released in 3-D later, in 1980 for an "art house" tour I believe.

    Several places on the web mentioned this, they could of course have taken it all from one wrong source.

    /Mike
     
  7. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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  8. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  9. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The film came at the end of the 3D craze and only played in a few major cities in the format. The question I have is the LEFT or RIGHT image used for the "flat" version? [​IMG]
     
  10. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Are we on the witness stand?[​IMG]
     
  12. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Rain, I looked a little more and on some sites it did say that a few theaters briefly ran it in 3-D when it opened. I would assume that these would be theaters in major cities.
    You're of course right that it was composed for 3-D, and it would be lovely to have it released that way on DVD (both 3-D and flat, preferrably), but considering that the director seemingly didn't care much about the 3-D aspect of the movie, and considering how well the cinematography works even in flat mode (those scenes made for 3-D, like when Kelly reaches out her arms to the audience are still excellent), it would be a shame not to watch this movie just because it's not in 3-D. IMO. [​IMG]
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Saying Hitchcock didn't care for 3-D is an understatement based on everything I read about Hitchcock and the filming and eventual release of this movie. He and Jack Warner weren't exactly buddies.



    Crawdaddy
     
  14. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Rain,
    I have several books on film and everything I've read over the years suggests that the 3-D theatrical run for Dial M for Murder was very short. The following is taken from a book called Movie Time that gives a chronology of Hollywood and the movie industry from it's beginning to the present.

     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Dial M For Murder was shot in the polarized 3-D process (two 35mm cameras), so is there any way it can be properly shown on TV?

    I've seen anagylphic before, but it looks awful (and very hard on the eyes). Polarized 3-D looks great, however...

    As for widescreen...Dial M For Murder is 1.33:1, so widescreen isn't an issue.
     
  17. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Since I've seen it on TV several times, and the PQ is great as well as the cinematography, I'd say yes.
     
  18. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    ...ahh... I think the man meant: can it be shown on TV in 3D... the answer to that is: no...
    ...about 3D MOVIES... and more about 3D MOVIES...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  19. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Rain,

    I read an article many years ago about 3D films and the fact that they played in major cities in the format and rarely hit the boonies. Dial M was one of the films that had a brief 3D run in New York and LA.
    In the 70s the Tiffany Theatre on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood played "Kiss Me Kate" and "Dial M For Murder" in 3D using two syncronized projectors. Later in the decade I believe a 3D version of "House Of Wax" also played LA with the left and right images combined on a single film strip using a prisim to separate them. I think the format was called "Stereovision". Both required Polaroid glasses. The clue that Dial M was made in 3D is that almost all shots have great depth of field and images like tables and lamps and telephones are featured in the foreground.
     
  20. Rain

    Rain Producer

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