The Ugi reaction of an o-iodobenzaldehyde, an aniline, an isocyanide, and a carboxylic acid afforded alpha -acetamido-alpha -phenylacetamide in good to excellent yields. The palladium-catalyzed intramol. C-H functionalization of these adducts under ligandless conditions provided the functionalized dihydrophenanthridines. Conclusion: Highly functionalized dihydrophenanthridines are synthesized in only two steps from readily accessible starting materials in good to excellent overall yields. [on SciFinder (R)]