“Dial M for Murder,” Alfred Hitchock’s suspense classic, was among the first films that helped Warner Bros. introduce 3D in U.S. theatres in the early ‘50s. Now, thanks to advanced Blu-ray technology and the tireless efforts of Warner Bros.’ Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) division, Warner Home Video has meticulously and painstakingly restored the original 3D presentation, and, when “Dial M for Murder” Blu-ray 3D debuts October 9, audiences will finally be able to see the film in their homes as it was originally meant to be seen. A 2D version will also be included for those who have yet to upgrade TVs and players to 3D. “Dial M for Murder Blu-ray 3D” will be priced at $35.99 SRP, and the order due date is September 4.
Originally designed to lure audiences away from their TV sets, 3D utilized a “left-eye/right-eye” dual projection process and polarized glasses, the basis for what is seen today. However, with the advent of CinemaScope (“the miracle you can see without glasses”) and the higher costs associated with 3D, the fad was fading by the time “Dial M for Murder” was released in theatres. As a result, most 1954 moviegoers only saw the film projected in 2D, and it wasn’t until the early 1980s that a classic 3D film revival allowed “Dial M for Murder” to be briefly seen theatrically, albeit in a “faux 3D” 70 mm composite print.
To ready “Dial M for Murder” for this current release, MPI’s work included a 4K scan of the original camera negative, and a full restoration of the two “eyes,” as well as convergence fixes to ensure perfect alignment.
Said Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, “Given the current trend toward 3D, we’re delighted to be releasing this authentic classic 3D. This is not a conversion from 2D to 3D, but an original work, with a big tip of the cap to MPI, that illustrates just how good 3D can be. The Warner library has the largest number of classic 3D titles (15) of any studio and over the years we’ve been looking to release them, but not until now has the technology been perfected to the point we can do that. We’re hoping “Dial M for Murder” is the first of several classic 3D films to be released, with the long-awaited, much requested “House of Wax” expected next.”
Ranked number 9 on the American Film Institute’s 2008 list of the 10 greatest films in the “Mystery” genre, “Dial M for Murder” was adapted by Frederick Knott from his hit Broadway stage play. The film stars two Oscar winners: Grace Kelly (Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Country Girl, 1954) in her Hitchcock film debut and Ray Milland (Best Actor in a Leading Role, The Lost Weekend, 1945). Robert Cummings (“The Bob Cummings Show”) and John Williams (Midnight Lace) also star.