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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Suspicion (1941)

Yet another installment in our Hitchcock mini-marathon of films that he made after he came to the United States.  He was still developing his sense of the perfect blend of mystery and romance, how to blend the two so effectively that while the movies of his later day were clearly suspenseful, they still contained an element of relationships between men and women.  In this one the relationship outweighs the suspense, but is well worth seeing.  Joan Fontaine won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the wife married to a cad.
Lina is a shy and bookish woman from a well to do family who impulsively marries a cad, Johnny, a man known for womanizing and never holding any sort of employment.  His sources of income are gambling, mooching, borrowing, and perhaps on occasion a little theft.  It is not a match made in heaven, but to Johnny's credit, he does seem to love Lina and she is besotted with him.  So much so that she allows him to install her in a house they cannot afford while he manages to get himself into a jam he really cannot get out of.  Lina's suspicions grow, and Hitchcock's use of meaningful looks and long shot angles to convey the growing suspense are very much on display here.  All's well that ends more or less well in this early Hitchcock tale.

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