This second film version of Frederick Knott's suspense play stars Christopher Plummer as a wealthy Londoner, who works out a meticulous scheme to murder his wife (Angie Dickinson) and escape undetected. The plan goes awry when the wife fights off the man hired to commit the murder, killing her attacker with a pair of scissors. Thinking quickly, Plummer manages to convince the police that his wife is guilty of premeditated murder. The woman is sentenced to hang for her "crime", but a diligent police inspector (Anthony Quayle) has second thoughts about her guilt. A serviceable made-for-TV job, the 1981 Dial 'M' for Murder suffers only when compared to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 filmization of the same play.
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