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

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Lina (Joan Fontaine) suspects her husband wants to kill her
SUSPICION (1941). Director: Alfred Hitchcock.

Lonely heiress Lina (Joan Fontaine) meets the charming mountebank Johnnie (Cary Grant) and finally falls in love. The two get married and move into a huge house that Johnnie can clearly not afford. Lina discovers that her husband has an aversion to work of any kind, and an addiction to gambling, even selling antique chairs given to her by her father as a wedding present, for money. A friend named Beaky (Nigel Bruce) shows up and lets slip further information that unsettles the discomfited wife. After Lina fears that her husband might be involved in a death that occurred in Paris, she then suspects that he is planning to do away with her. But is she right -- or this time does two and two add up to five? Suspicion is a smooth, beautifully photographed [Harry Stradling] and handsomely produced thriller that features an outstanding performance from Fontaine and also boasts Grant at his best, never quite giving away whether he's a total rotter or not. Other notable players include Dame May Whitty and Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Lina's parents, and Leo. G. Carroll as Johnnie's cousin, from whom he embezzles. It's been said that the ending is tacked on and a bit of a cop-out, but it still works. Unusual scoring by Franz Waxman.

Verdict: Another smooth suspenser from the Master. ***1/2.

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