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Tomas Gallucci

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Notes on a Classic Film - Dial "M" for Murder [Mar. 27th, 2010|02:04 am]
Tomas Gallucci
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[music |King Kong - James Newton Howard]


I just watched Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder for the first time and thought I'd give you my impressions while you wait for an Alice in Wonderland review.

Released in '54, this film, though dated by an era–but by no means a period piece–remarkably had me on the edge of my seat at a times during the first act. Though it wasn't on the level of today's thrillers, the first act built up plenty of suspense. i wanted to know how things would play out but I didn't want to endure the agony of having to watch good people do bad things. The psychological grip was so strong that I even considered not finishing the film because of the intensity.

When I got to the intermission (which I found odd, more on that below) I was relieved that there was a release to the tension. The second act was much less intense and faster paced. There was some excitement at the end of the film, wondering who would ultimately take the fall for what.

An interesting fact about Dial M for Murder is that it was a 3D film. The reason for the intermission is that in order to make the 3D work at the time, you had to run two projectors simultaneously. Because the projectors couldn't hold the entire film, there was an intermission.

I don't know if the negatives have survived or not. What's interesting is that this film is 56 years old. According to the little featurette about 3D, 3D was heavily used in addition to what we now colloquially call widescreen at the time of the release of this film. Also interesting to note, at the time this film was released, very few theaters chose to show the 3D version because 3D was seen as a fad and people had already tired of the gimmick.

So we've had 3D technology for going on 60+ years and we still have to have glasses at the theater in order to utilize it? Furthermore, we're just now talking about bringing 3D into the home and actually having a market for it?

I hope that there is much press over Dial M for Murder as 3D TVs and blu-rays enter the market. I hope that a transfer is done and that this masterpiece finally gets a day in the sun in all of its 3D glory.

[User Picture]From: darkest_writer
2010-03-28 07:42 am (UTC)
I love old films. I just recently watched "An American in Paris" on Blue-Ray DVD. The transfer was amazing. I can't wait to see more old films restored like that :]
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[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2010-03-28 11:13 am (UTC)
Cartoons are the best. I'm betting films like Rear Window would do great on Blu-ray.
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