Dial M for Murder

Sometimes, I can’t stand watching old movies.   I remember one time in particular when Roni and I were staying in a bed a breakfast that only had old VHS movies, and we tried watching one.  It was horrendous.  Terrible sound, terrible acting, and terrible story.  Really horrible stuff.  Much to my chagrin, I have even found that there are some “classic” movies that I just don’t like (I’m looking at you, Soylent Green).

But every now and then, I come across a older film that has truly earned the title of classic.  Alfred Hitcock’s Dial M for Murder is such a film.  The film is as intense and suspenseful today as it was in 1954.  Hitchcock did a wonderful job with this film adaptation of a play; everything from the casting, dialogue, to the pacing is spot on.  In short, Dial M for Murder is the perfect suspense film.

The actors play their roles with such perfect execution that it is easy to forget you are watching a movie.  Grace Kelly plays Margot Wendice, the wealthy wife of a famous tennis player.  She plays the part with such, well, grace that it isn’t hard to feel sorry for her predicament.  When she’s fighting for her life, you want her to live.

Ray Milland also has a standout performance as Tony Wendice.  He plays Margot’s husband with such cold, methodical, calculation that you cannot help but be unnerved.  This is a man who has spent years figuring out how to kill his wife and avoid all suspicion.  As the audience behind the fourth wall, you are the only ones aware of his double-faced act.  As such, when he acts suavely with such faux-concern around Grace Kelly, your skin crawls.  When he details his plan to his accomplice, you cannot help but shudder at the fact that there are such people in the world; he plays his part with such sincerity you cannot doubt that such people exist.  He is one part Christopher Walken, one part James Bond, and three parts terrifying.

The plan put forth by the husband seems so flawless, that you spend the first half the film worrying that the plan will work, and the second half of the film – well, I suppose you will just have to watch to find out.

Acting: 5
Screenplay: 5
Videography: 5
Sound: 5
Overall: 5

tl;dr: amazing example of classic cinema.  Must watch.


Currently reading

In addition to Goodnight Gorilla and other board-book classics, I’ve been reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, as recommended by sposita. I got it on the Kindle, which I still love, and I started reading while we stayed with the Romgi’s parents. They were looking after the Bwun so well, and the Romgi still had class to go to, so…what else was I supposed to do? Oh yeah, sleep. But I did get about a third of the way through the book and it’s riveting so far. I haven’t got a clue what the rest of the book is going to be about. Or necessarily what it’s been about already. Interesting, though!

I woke up with good intentions this morning. We had a nice full night’s sleep and while I was tired, I felt like I could get a few things done today. And the Romgi brought me a Dunford, so you know my day had a good start. But by the time the Romgi left for school I’d run out of energy and motivation.

Instead of accomplishing much of anything, I read the inside of my eyelids.

It was a great story of rest and relaxation and peace and – what? The Bwun knows how to take his diaper off?

Well, suffice it to say that we had some major cleanup at our house today. But it wasn’t the kind where I could (or would) show you a before-and-after photo.

We’re into November now…and I still have 9 books to finish by the end of the year. Hmm, should I aim for a clean house or getting to my reading goal? Reading, you say? I agree. The house will never be clean, anyway. As evidence I submit our living room today:

The Bwun exits gracefully. He even waved goodbye first.

Also, evidence of why it’s ok that my house looks like this:

CAN I KEEP HER?

One final note: I found the perfect postage stamps to use for our Christmas cards. I can’t wait to send them out.

Do you guys read anything besides my blog? I’m still taking recommendations for books by authors with last names starting with A, E, J, L, O, Q, X, and Z…

P.S. That high school picture of us I posted yesterday was pretty great! I can’t believe you guys didn’t say anything about it. Say it now.