Newest Reviews
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
No Man of God
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Quiet Place Part II, A
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
  Suspicion Wedded Woe
Year: 1941
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, Auriol Lee, Reginald Sheffield, Leo G. Carroll
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Lina (Joan Fontaine) is in a first class train carriage when the locomotive goes through a tunnel and someone enters in the darkness, bumping into her. He is Johnnie (Cary Grant), and displays his disreputability from the beginning by asking her for change to pay for his ticket when the conductor arrives - he was meant to be in third class. But Lina is surprised to see this man in the pages of her society magazine, and that he has a position in high society; she is shy and lonely, he is interested because she's different to the usual women he meets, and soon the rogue is pursuing her...

Ah, but to what end? This was the question perplexing audiences with Suspicion, Alfred Hitchcock's Hollywood movie following Rebecca, which also starred Joan Fontaine - apparently it was she who recommended the source novel to the director with a wish to take the lead in it. You can see why, as it was the ideal role for her style (it won her the Oscar), the shrinking violet who finds inner resources when things get fraught with worry, as Lina does here when as the title suggests she begins to have second thoughts about her romance with the dashing Johnnie. Played by Cary Grant, how could he have been anything else?

Well, he could have been, but there were problems in resolving the plot, and they centered around whether moviegoers of the day would accept Grant as a schemer and potential murderer, as he begins to appear. For the first half hour, however, we got what could be summed up as a Hitchcock romance, without irony, and with a strong sense of how loverlorn Lina is, making Johnnie's interest in her something of a Godsend when she was doomed to be a spinster for the rest of her days, much as her wealthy parents believe she will be. As much in an effort to prove them wrong as she wanted to be married, Lina elopes with Johnnie, and they go on an extravagant honeymoon before settling in a lavish country house.

Here's where the problems begin, as if being in a Hitchcock movie was never going to allow domestic bliss for very long, but basically Johnnie, no matter how superficially attractive, is a ne'erdowell who hasn't the money to pay for his lifestyle, and was hoping his new spouse would pick up the tab for his profligacy. Now estranged from her parents thanks to her life choices with who they see as the wrong man, they need funds desperately, but exactly how desperate is Johnnie prepared to be? Here was where the thriller aspect grew, as Lina becomes convinced her husband would go as far as murder to get his hands on a way to perpetuate his reckless accumulation of debts (Grant, who didn't get on with Fontaine, had other reasons for thinking Johnnie would turn to homicide), and when she thinks he would go as far as bumping off Nigel Bruce that's a step too far.

Not really Nigel, of course, but the best friend character Beaky the erstwhile Doctor Watson was playing, who is oblivious to any apparent ill-feeling that may be directed at him; he can be tactless, but Bruce managed to make him likeable in one of his best roles ("All dogs are fond of me!"). Then the tension increases when Lina thinks Johnnie is going to murder her for the insurance, and it all points to a dramatic conclusion ahead... but did we get one? This can make Suspicion a difficult Hitchcock to watch twice for many people, simply because that ending was believed to be such a letdown. After a story taking Grant's abundant charm and a sinister look at what could be described as the dark side of his screen persona, to add a twist like that for the denouement was hard to take. Besides scuppering all that careful work in creating the paranoia, it leaves us not knowing what to think about Johnnie at all, or how far on the level he could be. Some put the blame on the studio, others on the filmmakers, but it's an awkward movie no matter what. Rather good score by Franz Waxman, though.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3349 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Alfred Hitchcock  (1899 - 1980)

Hugely influential British director, renowned as "The Master of Suspense" for his way with thrillers. His first recognisably Hitchcockian film was The Lodger, but it was only until Blackmail (the first British sound film) that he found his calling. His other 1930s films included a few classics: Number Seventeen, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, Secret Agent, Sabotage, The Lady Vanishes, Young and Innocent and Jamaica Inn.

Producer David O. Selznick gave Hitchcock his break in Hollywood directing Rebecca, and he never looked back. In the forties were Suspicion, thinly veiled propaganda Foreign Correspondent, the single set Lifeboat, Saboteur, Notorious, Spellbound (with the Salvador Dali dream sequence), Shadow of a Doubt (his personal favourite) and technician's nightmare Rope.

In the fifties were darkly amusing Strangers on a Train, I Confess, Dial M for Murder (in 3-D), rare comedy The Trouble with Harry, Rear Window, a remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch a Thief, the uncharacteristic in style The Wrong Man, the sickly Vertigo, and his quintessential chase movie, North By Northwest. He also had a successful television series around this time, which he introduced, making his distinctive face and voice as recognisable as his name.

The sixties started strongly with groundbreaking horror Psycho, and The Birds was just as successful, but then Hitchcock went into decline with uninspired thrillers like Marnie, Torn Curtain and Topaz. The seventies saw a return to form with Frenzy, but his last film Family Plot was disappointing. Still, a great career, and his mixture of romance, black comedy, thrills and elaborate set pieces will always entertain. Watch out for his cameo appearances in most of his films.

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: