Okay, so, me and Hitchcock, we’re not, like, super-best-friends or anything. I’ve been very very slowly watching his movies, and they’re basically okay, though I may never understand the appeal of Vertigo. But holy heck I want to kiss the man on the mouth for directing this movie.
It is basically everything I want in an entertainment vessel. I would go see this as the play it originally was, I would read it as a book, I would listen to it as an opera, and I would totally go see it in 3D even though it would give me a headache. (Side note: This was originally screened in 3D in 1954. Oh, how history repeats itself.)
What is this “everything” I speak of? Let’s see. We have an inside-out murder mystery (like my beloved Double Indemnity) in which the murderer is the protagonist. Well, would-be murderer, as we also have a completely bungled murder that becomes an elaborate cover-up, and I do love elaborate cover-ups. There’s tons of suspense of both the “I hope he gets away with it!” and the “I hope they catch him!” variety, which is brilliant, and there’s also a mustachioed detective who provides some comic relief in the form of sarcasm.
Also, the acting is fantastic on everyone’s part, especially Ray Milland as the surprisingly likeable murderer. The cinematography is really interesting, too, especially with the little 3D flourishes that came off only a bit odd when I had no idea that’s what they were. And probably 90% of the film takes place in one room, but I never stopped to think, hey, these walls are getting a bit stale (like perhaps I did for another one-room Hitchcock film).
There’s really nothing more I want to say here that isn’t “omg this film is amazing go watch it now” so… you should go do that!