new-york

Alfred Hitchcock

8th Street Playhouse

The comically brief 3-D or stereo movie cycle was launched in late 1952 and peaked that summer. The craze was long over by the time Alfred Hitchcock finished his stereoscopic opus, Dial M For Murder, 1954, and the film was released flat. Belatedly, the original version has premiered at a lower Manhattan revival theater as part of a pre-holographic, film-as-installation 3D retrospective.

Taken from a hit Broadway play, Dial M is a genteel thriller. Ex-Wimbledon champion Ray Milland decides to do away with Grace Kelly, his wealthy, unfaithful wife, and blackmails an old schoolmate, Anthony Dawson, to do the job. Kelly unexpectedly dispatches her attacker with a pair of scissors; Milland shifts gears to have her framed. (“Ingenious and almost entertaining,” Pauline Kael called it.) A good 90 percent of the action is confined to the incongruously cramped and dowdy Milland-Kelly living room.

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