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Written by kyle keenan
Tony Wendice is arguably the main character of “Dial M for Murder”, which is unusual as he is also arguably to antagonist. Tony Wendice is a tennis star with a sagging career, the husband of a woman, Margo, who has ceased to love him in favor of another man. Tony, who is revealed to be plotting his wife’s murder, is the living embodiment of calm, cool, and collected. His lack of passion when contemplating his wife’s murder suggests he may have sociopathic tendencies. In addition to being levelheaded, Tony is subtly manipulative, as well as likable, able to misdirect individuals to suit his own purposes.
Margo is the protagonist of “Dial M”, who although quick witted and intelligent, is totally unaware that her husband is planning to kill her. Although it is revealed early on that Margo is having an extra-marital affair, Margo is kind, good natured, and graceful. She is also revealed to be resourceful when she is attacked, saving her own life by stabbing her attacker with a pair of scissors. Throughout the film, Margo remains totally in the dark about her husband’s true intentions, even when he attempts to frame her for murder.
Mark Halliday, a mystery writer, is Margo’s lover and the unwitting cause of Tony’s plot against his wife. Although initially in the dark as to Tony’s intentions, Mark’s unwavering faith in Margo leads him to begin suspecting Tony’s plot against Margo. It is Mark who provides some of the key pieces for the Inspector’s case against Tony.
Inspector Hubbard is the classic British detective who is much sharper than he first appears. It is the Inspector who first sees through Tony’s feigned innocence and begins to deduce the conspiracy the man has concocted. The Inspector is depicted as a very “by the book” police officer, occasionally showing brief glimpses of his true good natured character.
As the viewer is led to sympathize with Tony to a slight degree, Swann is arguably the only true villain of the film. Swann is a crook and con man through and through, willing to murder a woman he doesn’t know for money. Though Swann possesses a certain level of shrewdness, he is no match for the calculating Tony who easily coerces him into killing his wife for him, providing Tony with a perfect alibi. Through the quick thinking of Margo, Swann meets his untimely demise early on when he is stabbed to death with a pair of scissors.
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