Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dial M for Murder coming to Blu-Ray in 3D in 2012!

Watch these clips in 3D. You can even choose the format you want (red/blue glasses, "cross-eyed" etc.) by clicking the 3D icon at the bottom of the frame. 

As my friends know (because I have a way of worming it into, like, every third conversation), I believe Dial M for Murder (1954) to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's underrated masterpieces. How did it come to be overlooked? I think many people take their cue from Hitch himself, who described it as a light, hastily produced film whose performance he'd "phoned in." Methinks he doeth protest too much. (Plus, he couldn't resist a bad pun.)

The bigger problem is that very few people have had the opportunity to see the movie in its original format--3D--which makes about as much sense as watching North by Northwest in black and white. You're literally missing an entire dimension. Village Voice movie critic Andrew Sarris agrees. Upon seeing Dial M in 3D for the first time in the 60s, he exclaimed, "In 2D, Dial M is minor Hitchcock; in 3D, it is major Hitchcock."

And so, on my Hitchcock Geek Facebook page, I put out a call to my fellow geeks to campaign Time/Warner, which owns the film, to restore it for a Blu-Ray 3D release. Within hours, Alert Reader Charlie Fulton pointed out that "it's already happening" and drew my attention to a podcast featuring an interview with Warner Home Video Senior Vice President George Feltenstein, who announced the upcoming release of two 3D films, House of Wax (1953) and Dial M. He says:

"It looks really, really good that they're going to [be released] sometime in 2012.... Probably the end of 2012. We're working on them now. Those 3D experiences are going to be crisp and clean and sharp and vital and realistic." (Catch the entire interview with WMPG radio's Dick Dinman under the title "Inside the Walls of the Warner Archive.")

Thanks to quantum-leap improvements in 3D imaging in recent years, I think it's safe to say that, with this reissue, the Dial M in 3D experience is going to be an improvement over what audiences got in 1954. And with a Blu-Ray reissue, you'll get to see it whenever you want!


Want to nudge Feltenstein to speedily (and skillfully) complete the project? Drop by Warner's Classics Facebook page and tell them how eager you are to see Dial M in 3D on Blu-Ray.

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pet food said...

It is good to know that watching movies we have a choice what kind of effects we would want, either 2d or 3d or etc. This blog is really wonderful! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I prefer the 2D version.

I believe Hitchcock did the 3D version under protest, but if he had to do it wanted to do so as well as he could. Hitchcock himself much preferred the "flat" version.

I did see the 3D version back in the 80's and was not impressed with the gimmick. Apparently the public in the 50's weren't either since it was either the last or the last film filmed in 3D for many years.