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Harrison's Reports (1941) - Suspicion




"Suspicion" with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine

(RKO, November 14; time, 98 min.)

Brilliantly directed and acted with skill by a group of expert performers, this drama should prove thrilling fare for adults, particularly of the class trade. Even though the story is unpleasant, and the character portrayed by Cary Grant unsympathetic, so interesting is the plot development that one's attention is held to the end. The credit for this is owed to a great extent to Alfred Hitchcock, who again shows his mastery at directing thrillers. The closing scenes, in which the heroine, thinking that her husband was about to kill her, tries to jump from a speeding car, are so tensely exciting that one is left trembling at the conclusion. The action takes place in England :—

Cary Grant, charming and popular in English society, is sought after by all the ladies, even though his reputation was not a good one; he was known to gamble and even to cheat. Grant accidentally meets Joan Fontaine, daughter of a wealthy retired general (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), and for the first time is sincere when he declares his love for her. She, a rather plain-looking girl, who had led a retired life, is swept off her feet by Grant's charm, and she elopes with him. They spend a glorious honeymoon travelling over the continent, and on their return settle in a beautiful new home in the suburbs. Miss Fontaine receives her first shock when Grant admits that he was penniless, that he had borrowed money for the honeymoon, and that he looked forward to a substantial gift from her father. He is keenly disappointed when Hardwicke sends them two valuable antique chairs instead of money. But Miss Fontaine, loving him, forgives everything, and induces him to take a job with his cousin as manager of his estates. Nigel Bruce, an intimate friend of Grant's, arrives for a visit; when Miss Fontaine notices that the chairs were gone, Bruce intimates that Grant must have sold them. She is shocked anew; but Grant again sets things right by arriving home with the chairs and gifts for all, which he had bought from his winnings at the racetrack. Miss Fontaine, unknown to Grant, learns that he had lost his position because he had stolen funds from his cousin, and that the cousin intended to prosecute. She is horrified. Certain actions on Grant's part make her believe that he intended murdering Bruce. When Bruce dies suddenly in Paris, she is certain that Grant had killed him, for she thought that Grant had accompanied him there. Then she becomes convinced that Grant intended murdering her to collect insurance. Tortured by these thoughts, she draws away from him, and asks him to drive her to her mother's home. He drives at a fast pace and goes by way of a dangerous path, alongside a cliff. Terrified because she believed he intended killing her then, she tries to jump from the car; but he restrains her and quiets her. She learns that he had never been to Paris and that he had loved his friend sincerely, and that his reasons for inquiring as to certain poisons had been to kill himself. Ashamed, she begs his forgiveness and asks to go back home with him to help him face the police.

The plot was adapted from the novel "Before The Fact," by Francis Iles. Samson Raphaelson, Joan Harrison, and Alma Reville wrote the screen play. In the cast are Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, Leo G. Carroll.

Strictly adult fare.