HitchcOctober: Dial M For Murder

Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) is a former tennis pro who has grown too old for the game and now works as a sports equipment salesman, living with his beautiful young wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Tony has recently begun to suspect that Margot has been having an affair with American detective novelist Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), and has obtained proof via a letter from Mark that Tony stole from Margot’s handbag. Instead of confronting his wife, Tony plans instead to enact revenge. He hires a down on his luck old college friend of his (Anthony Dawson) to murder Margot, and forms a flawless scheme┬áto ensure he is the major beneficiary of all her money. As expected, however, not everything goes to plan.
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My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 38

What’s that saying about the best laid plans? Oh yeah, don’t bother making any. As much as I love my partner, I do appreciate the time I get to spend when she’s away. If that sounds mean then it isn’t meant to, she and I have discussed before that’s it’s nice to have an evening or a day to yourself once in a while, and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s been a long time since she was elsewhere for a couple of days, but this past weekend she was in London on business, so I found myself with a free couple of days to do whatever I liked, so I set out to make a plan. I scheduled three podcasts (my own, guest hosting one and being a regular guest on another) and a whole heap of movies to watch, planning to catch up on and cross off some of the more difficult films I needed to watch this year, and which Aisha definitely wouldn’t want to see. Needless to say, everything went to pot and I got very little done that I’d intended to.

Friday night went perfectly. After work I walked Murphy, dropped Aisha off at the train station, ran a couple of errands and headed home for dinner and a couple of movies in preparation for podcast #2 on Saturday, with casts 1 and 3 not covering specific movies so minimal preparation was required. Saturday, however, was far less successful. Murphy’s morning walk showed signs that he might not have been feeling all that well, but normally he gets over these things pretty quickly. Not so much this time, with a scrabbling at the door mid-podcast resulting in a couple of messy gifts from him littering the house, including one on a windowsill and halfway up the curtains, which I genuinely cannot fathom the logistics of how that happened. He’s fine now, but more time was given to cleaning up after him and making sure he was OK than had been planned. Additionally, my parents decided to invite themselves around on Sunday for a couple of hours, meaning a portion of my Saturday had to be given over to making the house and garden more presentable. Long story short, instead of watching a three-hour-plus movie and editing podcast #1 I only watched about 30 minutes of said film and didn’t even open the podcast file. Rats.

Sunday saw me watching a little more of the movie, but not getting beyond the two hour mark, with last minute tidy-ups occurring before my parents arrived, and their couple-of-hours visit evolving into half a day, with them leaving just before podcast #3 began, halfway through which Aisha arrived back home (with gifts of fudge and brownies, so she was even more of a welcome sight than expected). Before the weekend I’d planned to watch three films from the “Bad” movies list, two from my USA Road Trip, one 2015 movie and at least one “Nominated” movie, with options here and there from the TiVo list, but all I managed was two thirds of a USA Road Trip movie. I don’t think I’m going to get another free weekend for the rest of the year, so I’m a little annoyed at pretty much everything.

Also, with my celebrating of HitchcOctober just round the corner, the UK LAMB meet-up in a couple of weeks, a week spent visiting Aisha’s parents and an upcoming John Carpenter retrospective for the Lambcast, it’s looking like my goals are going to have to suffer, so I need to prioritise what I really want to get done. The TiVo list can take an easy back seat. The 1001 goal of 75 movies will probably sort itself out. Kate Winslet is done and the 2015 movies are ones I van more easily convince Aisha to watch for the most part. The choice really sits between the USA Road Trip, Bad Movies list and the Nominated films. I’m looking at the Road Trip as a priority, as I’d like to finish that off this year and enter 2016 with a new project for French Toast Sunday, which I’ve yet to decide upon. Numbers-wise it’ll be easier to do the Bad movies than the Nominated ones, so I think that’s what I’ll aim for. Ideally I’ll get it all done, but that’ll most likely require a week or so off work, and I’ve got no holiday left to book. I’m not that distraught, because after all these are self-imposed deadlines, but it’s a shame it looks like I’ll be throwing in the towel before the end of the year. Maybe I’ll have a movie marathon around Christmas. Here’s the very few films I watched this week: Continue reading