It’s the 1950s. A phone rings, echoing down a long corridor. Music swells — a scene now iconic plays: A beautiful woman repeats “hello” over the receiver, only for no one to answer back. She wraps a shawl around her shoulders as shadows fueled with ill intent play behind her.
Led by old Hollywood stars Ray Milland, Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings, Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954) has all the basic ingredients of a class-crime mystery: blackmail, lust, greed, sinister music and a broken view of the American dream — all wrapped up in wafts of cigar smoke and whiskey residue.
A plot unfurls in which Margot, born into a wealthy family, has an affair; her husband, Tony, then concocts a plan to kill her.
Catch it at the Esquire as part of their Hitchcock series; next Wednesday, they’ll explore 1955’s To Catch a Thief.
7 p.m. Aug. 22. $10; $7.50 senior/child. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, esquiretheatre.com.