Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Suspicion (1941)

Retro Active Critique #20

The story of 'Monkey Face' and ol' Johnny. Believe it or not, 'Suspicion' happens to be the most romantic Hitchcock film for me.

I have a suspicion this will be one of the last times I'll feature a Hitchcock film on this blog. I've only recently written an appeal for The Man Who Knew Too Much and before that I'd posted about my loving costume/character attempt at Rear Window last Halloween. I love Hitch, but it isn't my intention to retro-actively appreciate films, music, personalities, etc. that still manage to garner attention on their own in our extreme mass output culture. Rather, I've intended for my focus to be on appreciating and giving a little push to those we have waiting for some notice in our collective archives.

On that note, 'Suspicion'
 rounds out (or squares out, as the case happens to be) my favorite four films of Alfred Hitchcock: the ever-perfect (flawless) cinematic experience of 'North By Northwest'; 'Rear Window', perhaps the finest of his thrillers, if only for its all-encompassing simplicity; the often overlooked but deeply pleasing 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'; and the breezy, far-ahead-of-its-time charm of 'Suspicion'. 

The direction of this film is superb and cutting edge for 1941. The script and dialogue is as sharp as you'd expect if you've watch films of this era –– and a revelation if you haven't –– with its intoxicating wit, energy and charm. The supporting cast is also great. Nigel Bruce as the bumbling Beaky is particularly fun, with his 'old boy', 'old girl' & 'old chap' capped utterances. 

Joan Fontaine is lovely to put it simply. There is no other way to describe her as she plays the mousy but alluring Lina. I am not sure why, exactly, but hers stands as one of my favorite performances –– ever –– in this. She won a deserved Oscar for playing Lina. 

Cary Grant is as perfect as ever as the 'no good, but how can you not love him' Johnny. He is so funny, warm and charming it's understandable why an intelligent woman like Lina would fall for him, despite his (seemingly) obvious shortcomings.

Their playful moments together are touching and amusing.
You'll find yourself rooting for them at all costs. For 'Monkey Face' to have a life with Johnny there are indeed costs. But they seem to be worth it. 

And it's definitely worth checking out this seventy year old film! If you'd like to refresh your film queue with something 'new' don't be misled by this film's age. 'Suspicion' is still incredibly fresh and it's not to be missed.


  1. wow, i didn't know u had a blog... it's so good. congrats xx

  2. I love your blog!! I follow it feel free to follow mine as well!!

  3. Thanks, JP - I hadn't seen your comment 'til just now, xo :)

  4. Thank you, The Sweet Life... and will do :)