Sunday, November 14, 2021

On This Day... Suspicion (1941)

 Cary Grant's 40th full length film, Suspicion, was released on this day in 1941.


Handsome gambler, Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) seems to live by borrowing money from friends. While trying to travel in a first class train car with a third class ticket, he meets shy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). After a short courtship, they marry but, after the honeymoon, she starts to become suspicious when Johnnie's friend and business partner, Beaky, is mysteriously killed...


Cary Grant...Johnnie
Joan Fontaine...Lina
Cedric Hardwicke...General McLaidlaw (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Nigel Bruce...Beaky
May Whitty...Mrs. McLaidlaw (as Dame May Whitty)
Isabel Jeans...Mrs. Newsham
Heather Angel...Ethel [Maid]
Auriol Lee...Isobel Sedbusk
Reginald Sheffield...Reggie Wetherby
Leo G. Carroll ...Captain Melbeck

Did You Know?

Based on the 1932 novel "Before the Fact", by Francis Iles, which was the pen name for Anthony Berkeley.  There are many differences between the movie and the novel. Johnnie Aysgarth's infidelity is not featured in this movie: Lina's best friend, with whom Johnnie has an affair, does not appear at all. In the novel, the maid Ella has an illegitimate son by Johnnie.

At the "milk scene", all the ladders are dark but the glass shines because Alfred Hitchcock put a little bulb inside the milk with a battery for the enhancing the impression.

In interviews, Alfred Hitchcock said that an RKO executive ordered that all scenes in which Cary Grant appeared menacing be excised from the movie. When the cutting was completed, the movie ran only fifty-five minutes. The scenes were later restored, Hitchcock said, because he shot each piece of film so that there was only one way to edit them together properly. This is a technique called 'in-camera editing', a trick Hitchcock had already employed a year before during filming of Rebecca (1940), to prevent producer David O. Selznick from interfering with the final cut of the movie.


Johnnie: Well, well. You're the first woman I've ever met who said yes when she meant yes.

Johnnie: Your hair's all wrong. It has such wonderful possibilities that I, well, I got excited. For the moment I became a, a passionate hairdresser.

Lina: Why are you frank with me, because I'm... different?
Johnnie: No, no, it isn't that. I'm honest because with you I think it's the best way to get results.

Johnnie: Darling, you're not shivering, are you?
Lina: I have a bit of a chill.
Johnnie: Cold in all this sunshine? Well, let me warm you up. My poor little shivering baby. How do you feel now? Better?
Lina: Much.
Johnnie: Good. Perhaps this will help.
[Johnnie takes Lina and kisses her passionately]

Johnnie: What do you think of me by contrast to your horse?
Lina: If I ever got the bit between your teeth, I'd have no trouble in handling you at all.

Lobby Cards and Posters:

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

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley of Studio 36.

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