MovieChat Forums > Dial M for MurderĀ (1954) Discussion > Not plausible in any respect (SPOILERS)

Not plausible in any respect (SPOILERS)


The idea that a policeman can walk into anyone's house and conduct a search with no warrant is ridiculous to begin with.

The idea that Tony would leave an unlocked suitcase full of money in a bedroom and then ask his wife's lover to go and keep it company is also silly. Why would Mark need to hide anyway?

In fact - why was Mark involved at all? Let alone assisting in an illegal search.

And to release a person condemned to death in order to see if her key unlocked the door was beyond ludicrous.

One gets used to the awful backdrops in Hitchcock films - and the sometimes awful acting (Margot) the total ignoring of police procedures is a step too far.

My feeling is that Tony was far too clever to fall for the wrong key routine - he knew the policeman was hounding him - it would have been more plausible if he had simply gone round the back and let himself in.

I am not sure what would have become of him - the most they could have done him for would be conspiracy to commit a murder - but as the murder was never committed I don't know how that would be regarded in law.
Any lawyers here that would know?


reply

Why bother the whole key thing, why not leave the back entrance unlocked for Swann to enter?

reply

Indeed !!

reply

pullgees replied Dec 12, 2016
Why bother the whole key thing, why not leave the back entrance unlocked for Swann to enter?

It was necessary in case Margot locked up after her walk. He needed a way to ensure he got in.

reply

Well I would had a key cut for the back door and given it to Swan instructing him to make it look like a break in after he killed her. And never mind a phone call just murder her in her bed. C'mon it's a daft story but it'll do for 3D back then.

reply

...it's a daft story but it'll do for 3D back then.


I don't think this is really one of those films thrown together in a rush to capitalize on 3D. True, many of those were given little thought to plot, logical or otherwise. This was based on a play that had been around a bit, and so any plot weaknesses would have been present before a 3D movie was planned. It may have been a rushed decision by the studio to produce it in 3D, but the story itself, which has little action a basically takes place in one room, was not specifically created for a 3D production.

reply

No you're right it wasn't, but still a daft story.

reply

Why bother the whole key thing, why not leave the back entrance unlocked for Swann to enter?
It was necessary in case Margot locked up after her walk. He needed a way to ensure he got in.

Yes, but it would also make Wendice a suspect. It would work if they had a habit of leaving the back entrance unlocked, but since they didn't, it would be too much of a coincidence, i.e., the one night that someone tried to break in and murder her also happened to be the one night they forgot to lock the door?

reply

The Murderer was supposed to make it look like a break in and indeed still could have if the door was left unlocked once he has done his deed by breaking glass etc.

reply

The idea that Tony would leave an unlocked suitcase full of money in a bedroom and then ask his wife's lover to go and keep it company is also silly.

The briefcase wasn't unlocked. We're clearly shown Mark breaking open the locks .

reply

All these points are problems of the writer, not Hitchcock.
Of course it is Hitchcock's fault for picking the story. But a lot of the time I think Hitch is more interested in how to film a story, not what it's about.
Plus back then in many stories people keyed in on certain things and not the whole thing broken down. (He wants to kill his wife, killer gets killed instead, Inspector solves crime because of some keys!)

It's much like religion. Religion is based on several short ideas or concepts, but when you put them all together trying to make some logic about it, it falls apart. That is apparently a human trait in thought, not to think things through.
Critical thinking is not for everyone!

. Ephemeron.

reply

Thanks to all of you! I agree totally, there were many plot holes. I'd watch it again in a minute, but the ending especially was poorly written IMO.

Margot was wimpy. Not much Grace Kelly could do except look smashing. Ray Milland was wonderful though, he was really something.

I can't get over Margot just walking into the house on the day she was set to be executed.

reply