Dial into your knowledge of "Dial M for Murder."

Susan McDonald

Image: Warner Bros.

About This Quiz

Grace Kelly is luminous and Ray Milland is charmingly devious in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 crime mystery, "Dial M for Murder," which also stars Robert Cummings. How well do you remember the film?

Where does the movie take place?

The film takes place in London, where Tony Wendice lives with his wife, Margo. Tony is a former tennis player and Margo comes from money.

Margo received many letters from her former lover, Mark Halliday, and she burned all but one. What was in the letter she saved?

Margo saved only one of the letters Mark wrote to her, so clearly it was important to her. He acknowledges that he probably knows which one it was, but the audience is never told its contents. No fair!

What does Mark do for a living?

Mark is a successful mystery writer. His novels center on crime, and he tells Mark that although he could probably write a perfect murder, he doesn't think he could pull one off.

When Margo tells Mark about the attempt to blackmail her over his letter, what is unusual about the blackmail attempt?

Margo tells Mark that she followed the instructions about where to drop off the cash, which was an address often used for forwarding mail. However, when she went back a couple of weeks later, she found the envelope still there, untouched.

When he is unable to go to the theater with Margo and Mark, Tony invites Mark to an event the following night. What is it?

Tony invites Mark to accompany him to a stag party -- a party for just men -- the following night. This is presented as an apology for bailing on their first evening together, but is really part of his overall scheme.

How does Tony know Swann?

Tony and Swann went to Cambridge together. When Swann comes to the apartment, Tony shows him a framed photo of their reunion 20 years earlier.

Since retiring from tennis, what is Tony's current job?

Tony tells Swann that he sells sports equipment, However, it doesn't pay enough to support his lavish lifestyle.

What ruse does Tony use to get Swann to come to his apartment?

Tony finds out that Swann has a car for sale, and says he is interested in buying it. He claims he can't come to meet Swann because he has twisted his knee, a pretense he keeps up for a while once Swann arrives.

Tony tells Swann while he was in a pub, thinking of ways to kill Mark or Margo, he saw something that changed his mind. What was it?

As Tony was considering the possibility of killing either Mark or Margo, he looked up and saw Swann. That made him remember that Swann had been involved in some criminal activity and he hatched the idea of having him kill Margo for him.

How does Tony learn the full extent of Swann's criminal history?

Tony tells Swann that he began to follow him and learn his habits. He learned about the women Swann had conned -- and one he poisoned -- as well as his various aliases and other activities.

How much money does Tony offer Swann to kill Margo?

Tony tells Swann that he will pay him 1,000 pounds in cash for the job once it is completed. He gives him 100 pounds for a down payment and says when the work is done, he will lead Swann to a locker in which the rest of the money will be held.

Tony tells Swann to let himself into the apartment with a hidden key. Where does he hide it?

Tony plans to take his wife's key and hide it under the edge of the carpet on the staircase outside their apartment. After he has killed Margo, Swann is to return the key to where he found it.

As Tony and Mark are leaving, how does Margo almost foil Tony's carefully-crafted plan?

Tony had counted on Margo staying home and listening to a radio program she enjoyed, but she surprises him by saying she's going to a movie. Eventually, he convinces her to stay home and work on a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about him.

Why does Tony not call the apartment at the time he planned to do so?

Mark is supposed to call at 11, but his watch stops and he is several minutes late making the call. Swann is about to leave the apartment when the phone finally rings and the plan gets underway.

How does Margo kill Swann?

Margo has gotten her scissors from her sewing box to work on Tony's scrapbook. They are still on the desk, so before she passes out from Swann strangling her, she grabs them and stabs him in the back.

When he speaks with Margo on the phone, what does Tony tell her to do?

Rather than instructing her to call for help, Tony makes a strange demand. He tells Margo to avoid touching anything and not to speak to anyone. This becomes a point of confusion later when she is questioned.

What does Tony remove from Swann's pocket while Margo is out of the room?

Tony rummages through Swann's pockets and removes a key, assuming it's the one he was supposed to hide after the murder was complete. Big mistake.

What does Tony do with the scarf Swann used when he tried to strangle Margo?

Tony finds the scarf where Margo dropped it and burns it in the fireplace, using lighter fluid to speed up the process. Then he replaces it with Margo's stockings in order to implicate her.

Tony puts one of Margo's stockings next to the garden door in plain sight. Where does he hide the second one?

Tony plants the second stocking under the desk blotter. Then he makes sure the police find it by serving them tea and using the tray to subtly move the blotter aside a few inches.

Why is Chief Inspector Hubbard convinced that Swann entered through the front door?

While Tony makes the case that Swann must have come in through the garden door, Hubbard thinks otherwise. He points out that recent rain had made the ground muddy, yet there was no mud on Swann's shoes and no traces of dirt being tracked inside. In addition, there were fibers from the front doormat on Swann's shoes, indicating that he wiped his feet on it.

What theory does Tony suggest about how Swann could have entered through the front door?

When Hubbard makes a case for Swann entering through the front door, Tony mentions that Margo's bag was stolen a few months earlier and later turned in to the train station lost and found. He suggests that it was Swann who stole the bag -- which is plausible since he claims to have seen him at the station -- and had a duplicate key made before turning in the bag with the original key inside.

How does Hubbard know about Mark and Margo's affair?

Tony plants the letter in Swann's pocket as part of his revised plan. Hubbard finds it there and after sending Tony out of the room, he tells Margo and Mark that he knows about their relationship.

When Margo is convicted of Swann's murder, what is her sentence?

Margo is quickly convicted for Swann's murder. She is sentenced to death and the movie's final scenes take place on the day before she is to be hanged.

As he is approaching the apartment building, what does Mark see Tony carrying inside?

Mark comes to see Tony to offer a last-ditch plan to save Margo. As his taxi approaches, he sees Tony entering the building, carrying a briefcase.

What does Tony say caused Margo to lose the jury's sympathy?

Tony tries hard to rebuff Mark's suggestions for saving Margo. When Mark suggests that Tony confess to hiring Swann to kill Margo -- oddly enough, proposing the exact plot Tony had hatched -- Tony sneers at him and says that Margo wouldn't be in this situation if not for Mark. It was her affair with him, Tony says, that caused her to lose sympathy with the jury.

What does Mark do when Hubbard unexpectedly arrives at the apartment?

When Hubbard appears at the door, Mark does not want to be seen conspiring with Tony. He quickly slips into the bedroom and closes the door, but he can hear the conversation.

Why does Hubbard say he has come to the apartment?

Hubbard explains that his unit is investigating some recent robberies and he has noticed that Tony has been spending large amounts of cash recently. Tony finally says he has been winning big at the dog races.

What does Mark find in Tony and Margo's bedroom?

Mark is sitting on the bed, listening to the conversation between Tony and Hubbard, when he reaches down and feels something under a throw. It is the briefcase Tony carried into the building earlier and when he forces it open, he finds it is filled with cash.

How does Hubbard realize Tony has been living entirely off cash?

Hubbard and Mark get Tony's check register from his desk. When they look at it, they find that he has not written a check since the date of Swann's murder, indicating that he has been living off the cash from the briefcase. The small bills in the case match up with reports that he has been paying for services with similar bills.

How does Tony explain the cash?

Tony explains the large amount of cash by saying Margo gave it to him and asked him to hide it. He says he began spending it to get rid of it. This supports the idea that Swann was blackmailing her.

After sending Tony into the bedroom for a moment, what does Hubbard do?

After Mark leaves, Hubbard asks Tony to look out the bedroom window to see if he has actually left. While he is out of the room, Tony switches raincoats so when he leaves, the coat he takes is actually Tony's.

When Margo is brought to the apartment, how does she get inside?

When the key in her bag won't open the door, Margo is confused. She speaks briefly to the police officers who accompany her, then all of them walk around and enter through the garden door. The fact that she doesn't know about the hidden key confirms her innocence to Hubbard.

How does Tony incriminate himself?

When his key is missing from his coat pocket, Tony is at a loss about how to get inside. He starts to walk away, but suddenly remembers the key hidden under the carpet and uses it. This proves he was the one who hid the key and told Swann about it.

Why did Margo's key not open the door?

Puzzled that no key was found in Swann's clothing after his murder, Hubbard theorized that perhaps the key in Margo's bag was actually his. After confirming it, he realized that Tony had removed what he thought was Margo's key from Swann and slipped it into her bag. Gotcha!

What does Tony do after he realizes he's been caught?

Knowing he's been caught, the always-smooth Tony continues as the cordial host. He pours himself a drink and casually offers one to Margo and Mark. He suggests that since Hubbard is on duty, he probably doesn't want one.

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