Saturday, November 14, 2020

On This Day...Suspicion (1941)

Cary Grant's 40th full length feature film, Suspicion, was released today in 1941.


After a chance meeting on a train, Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) and Lina McLaidlaw(Joan Fontaine) have a whirlwind romance and are married. Johnnie was well known in society circles while Lina is a shy sort. They return from a lengthy European honeymoon to a beautiful house Johnnie's arranged for them. She's a bit shocked to learn, however, that her new husband has no means of support, and seems to live off money he borrows from friends. 

She soon learns he has a darker side, however, and loves to gamble. Johnnie loves mystery novels, and Lina begins to suspect he would go to any lengths to keep his lifestyle secure. She's certain that a business deal he's dreamed up with his longtime friend Beaky (Nigel Bruce) is a scam on his part. When the police inform her that Beaky died in Paris, she's certain her husband is behind it all. Her main concern, however, is whether she will be the next victim.

"Miss Fontaine is beauteous, and Cary Grant finds a new field for himself - the field of crime, the smiling villain, without heart or conscience." - John Mosher, The New Yorker.

"The film is well cast all down the line. Cary Grant in particular is just right for that part..." - Otis Ferguson, The New Republic.

Did You Know?

Joan Fontaine liked the character of Lina in this movie so much, that she sent Alfred Hitchcock a note after she read the novel, "Before the Fact", by Francis Iles, offering to play the part for free, if necessary.

Cary Grant did not warm up to Joan Fontaine, finding her to be temperamental and unprofessional.

Cary Grant was paid $112,500 for his work in this film, while Joan Fontaine earned $69,750. At that time, Hitchcock was still being paid a weekly salary as director, and he was not happy about the amount his two stars were paid.

Cary Grant's first role in a Alfred Hitchcock movie. He also starred in three more: Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959).

With Joan Fontaine and Nigel Bruce.


 Cary Grant ... Johnnie Aysgarth
 Joan Fontaine ... Lina McLaidlaw
 Sir Cedric Hardwicke ... General McLaidlaw 
 Nigel Bruce ... Gordon Cochran Thwaite aka Beaky
 Dame May Whitty ... Mrs. McLaidlaw 
 Isabel Jeans ... Mrs. Newsham
 Heather Angel ... Ethel
 Auriol Lee ... Isobel Sedbusk
 Reginald Sheffield ... Reggie Wetherby
 Leo G. Carroll ... Captain Melbeck

With Joan Fontaine.

Lobby Cards:

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Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Produced by RKO Radio.
Running time: 99 minutes.

With Joan Fontaine and Alfred Hitchcock on set.

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