Watched: October 28 2016

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Nigel Bruce, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Dame May Whitty, Auriol Lee

Year: 1941

Runtime: 1h 39min

suspicion

Source

Shy, bookish introvert Lina (Fontaine) keeps running into charming (but creepy) playboy Johnnie (Grant). After parrying his first advances, she overhears her parents discussing her inevitable descent into spinsterhood and starts pursuing him instead. She rapidly goes from indifferent and interesting to lovesick and stalkery, all in the name of avoiding becoming a spinster.

suspicion-1
“I’d better marry the man who assaulted me on our first date. The alternative is just too horrible!”

Source

Back from their honeymoon, she realises he’s completely broke, living well above his means, and intends to live off of her income and future inheritance. Being a sensible woman (apart from marrying this guy) she suggests he gets a job. So he sells her family heirlooms to gamble instead.

suspicion2
“Do you mean to say you love these chairs that have been in your family for generations and which your father gave us? Well, if I had known that I never would have sold them, monkey face!”

Source

Lina also starts to suspect her handsome, charming husband may have murderous intents, especially when his rich friend Beaky (Bruce) dies in a freak accident in France while Johnnie is out of town. It doesn’t help his case that he asks a lot of questions about untraceable poisons to Lina’s crime writer friend Isobel Sedbusk (Lee) and then starts feeding Lina suspicious drinks.

suspicion-milk-fontaine
“Just trying to be a good husband. God, I can’t do anything right, can I?”

Source

Suspicion is as suspenseful mystery from the king of the genre, Mr Alfred Hitchcock, and it is fun to see Cary Grant play a villainous character. Joan Fontaine is great as well and actually won an Oscar for her portrayal of the confused, helpless and scared Lina. The film has a great soundtrack and sound effects, and normal, everyday actions, such as carving a chicken at a dinner party, turn very dark and menacing due to the extreme tension throughout. Lina gradually covers up her neck (Johnnie’s favourite part of her body) as her suspicions grow, and the lighting in the film perfectly illustrates her state of mind (like some filmatic mood ring).

suspicion-1941-001-man-with-milk-00m-mru
The use of light and shadow is amazing in general – not just as Lina’s mood ring

Source

Despite the abrupt and slightly unsatisfactory ending, this is a great, tense mystery film. We loved the ’40s fashion as well – it is nigh impossible to look bad in those clothes.

suspicion3
The typical “nerd attire” in the 1940s is particularly good, especially compared to its more modern counterparts

Source

What we learned: never marry a man who calls you “monkey face.”

Next time: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “#57 Suspicion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s