Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3D (1954) to screen 

March 15, along with a Q&A with author Foster Hirsch 


Following a successful run of Wim Wenders’ Anselm (2023), Sag Harbor Cinema will present Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954) in 3D on March 15 at 6pm. Film historian and author of Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties (2023) Foster Hirsch will join SHC’s Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan for a post-screening Q&A. Mr. Hirsh will also be at hand to sign copies of his acclaimed new book. 


“Foster Hirsh provides a fascinating portrait of a complicated decade for the American film industry,” says D’Agnolo Vallan. “I could not imagine a better guest to contextualize Hollywood’s brief love affair with stereoscopic cinema, when the rise of television compelled the studios to look for new technologies that would dazzle the audience and keep them going to the theaters.” 


Recently restored and made available digitally, Dial M for Murder was mostly projected in 2D when it was released in 1954. In François Truffaut’s 1966 book Hitchcock/Truffaut, the two filmmakers discuss Dial M. Truffaut laments the studio’s release of the film: “In France, unfortunately, we only saw the flat version because the theater managers were too lazy to make the necessary arrangements for the distribution of Polaroid spectacles to the audiences.”

Adapted from a Frederick Knott stage thriller, Dial M for Murder stars Grace Kelly as an unfaithful wife whose husband, played by Ray Milland, devises a plot to have her murdered after he discovers that she is having an affair. “Someday, there will be three-dimensional video screens and Dial M for Murder will come into its own. But at the time I was making the picture, I worried that 3D may be a fad and that Dial M would godown as a ‘flattie’,” Hitchcock told his biographer Charlotte Chandler in It’s Only a Movie (2005). “If someone is going to make a 3D movie, the most convenient medium to adapt is the stage. A play is seen in 3D normally and within the confines of the set it is much easier to control the added complication of shooting in 3D.”

In Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties (2023), Hirsh argues that Hitchock’s use of 3D forgoes gimmick by focusing on creating layers to enhance the experiential quality of 3D, rather than just using it for shock value: “Hitchcock employs 3-D to transform a seemingly ordinary setting into a sinister environment. Foregrounded in 3-D, everyday objects – a lamp, chairs, a desk, a phone – acquire a life of their own, a heightened, glistening presence… Dial M for Murder is a model exhibit of the kind of artful, subtle enhancements that 3-D can provide to the right story.”

Sag Harbor Cinema is pleased to include 3D as part of the year-round programming. 3D films at Sag Harbor Cinema are made possible by the kind support of the Philip I Kent Charitable Fund. Stay tuned for more details on other 3D programs in the coming months.

Tickets for films and special events will be made available on the cinema’s website, sagharborcinema.org.


For more information on the film and Foster Hirsh, see details below:



Foster Hirsch is a professor of film at Brooklyn College and the author of sixteen books on film and theater, including Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King, The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, and A Method to Their Madness: The History of the Actors Studio. He lives in New York City. 



Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
USA, 1954; 104 mins, in English Rated PG

Academy Award winners Grace Kelly and Ray Milland star with Robert Cummings in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest thrillers Dial M for Murder. When playboy tennis pro Tony Wendice (Milland – The Lost Weekend) discovers his rich wife, Margot (Kelly – Rear Window, To Catch a Thief), is having an affair with handsome American Mark Hallidy (Cummings – The Carpetbaggers), he devises an ingenious plot to murder her. But when his scheme takes an unexpected, deadly twist, Tony improvises…..

3D films at Sag Harbor Cinema are made possible by the kind support of the Philip I Kent Charitable Fund.


As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village.

SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and have access to our member-only rooftop lounge, The Green Room. 



AAQ / Resource: Riverhead Toyota