Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


TENSION (1949). Director: John Berry.

When pharmacist Warren Quimby's (Richard Basehart) skank wife Claire (Audrey Totter) leaves him for another man (Lloyd Gough), he cooks up a plan to take on another identity and get revenge. Of course, things don't work out exactly as planed. Barry Sullivan and William Conrad are two homicide detectives who at first don't even realize that Quimby and his alter ego are the same person even though all he's done is exchange his glasses for contacts! Cyd Charisse plays the loyal woman who falls in love with Quimby's new identity. For much of its length Tension is absorbing, but when all is said and done it doesn't create enough suspects in its murder mystery and everyone's actions seem a trifle inexplicable. In the long run, there isn't much tension in this or much else, although it's decently acted, and Totter is certainly vivid.

Verdict: Mediocre suspenser. **1/2.

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