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Hitchcock and the Censors$
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John Billheimer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177427

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.001.0001

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Dial M for Murder (1954)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

(p.184) 23 Dial M for Murder (1954)
Hitchcock and the Censors

John Billheimer

University Press of Kentucky

Dial M for Murder, the fourth and final film owed to Warner Bros. under Hitchcock’s Transatlantic contract, was based on Frederick Knott’s successful stage play. Hitchcock filmed the play almost exactly as written, making no attempt to ‘open up’ its apartment setting and embellishing the tightly knit plot with a spellbinding murder scene. The Production Code Administration found little to quibble with, asking that a few hells and damns be omitted and that the ‘intimate parts’ of Grace Kelly’s body ‘be fully clothed at all times.’ The film was a success both critically and at the box office, bringing in the most profit of any of the Warner’s films.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, Frederick Knott, Grace Kelly, blackmail, Production Code Administration, murder scene, Warner Bros, Dial M for Murder

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