Quintessential cool blonde (and Hitchcock favorite) Grace Kelly stars as a society woman around whom jealous husband Ray Milland arranges the perfect murder. But thanks to a well-placed pair of scissors, the tables are turned and Milland's carefully-laid plans begin to disintegrate. Hitchcock used a rapid 36-day shooting schedule, and was dismissive of 3-D itself ("A nine-day wonder, and I came in on the ninth day"). He refused to open out the hit play by Frederick Knott (author of another masterpiece of unknown terror, Wait Until Dark), confining the action except the determinedly unrealistic trial scene to one set, and setting his cameras in a pit to get low-angle shots designed to emphasize depth and giving the film a theatricality and claustrophobia la Rope and Rear Window, only on this stage the proscenium doesn't end at the screen, it extends into the audience. 3-D is most effectively used in the murder sequence, which takes on new and greater significance as the viewer is placed in the midst of the struggle: a voyeuristic accomplice to murder as only Hitchcock could have planned.
I used to consider this second-tier Hitchcock, but a re-watch proved to me just how excellent the script and directing were, as well as how stellar and underrated both Grace Kelly and Ray Milland tend to be, at least presently, three generations after the fact. The... Read More