Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon | Suspicion (1941)

Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon | Suspicion (1941)

Thank you to Maddy for organising this blogathon, give her blog a look if you love classic films. I am a big fan of the Alfred Hitchcock films I have watched so far, so I thought I would use this blogathon as a chance to watch one that I haven’t watched yet, Suspicion.

Suspicion ★★★½
Humpo Show Rating | 7.2
IMDb Rating | 7.4
Starring: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Nigel Bruce, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Dame May Whitty
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Plot Summary: A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her. (IMDb)

Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine) is a smart and solitary lady who unexpectedly falls for the charms of Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant), a eligible bachelor with a penchant for losing money. Quite quickly the pair up end up married, but equally as quickly Lina is subjected to Johnnie’s addiction to lying, gambling and rising debts. Despite his flaws, she is unable to resist his charms, until she starts to suspect he may be plotting to murder her.

For me the film can be summed up in six words. Slow opening, decent middle, disappointing end.

Grant gives a decent enough performance as the chilling rogue that is constantly lying and is driven by his greed and lack of morals. Fontaine, who won an Oscar for her performance, is also compelling as the dithering and indecisive young woman that goes from loved up fiance to terrified wife, seamlessly. The pair of them are an odd couple, but somehow make it work.

The film is shot in brilliant light, with one particularly dark scene – the one with the milk. It is unmistakably Hitchcock-esque. Accompanying the cinematography is the terrific music, which helps to build suspense to a deafening crescendo. After the slow beginning, it begins to ramp up well and it matches the characteristics of Johnnie and Lina perfectly.

However, the film’s ending was flat and hollow and seemed tacked on. It didn’t fit with the rest of the film at all – apparently the studio forced Hitchcock to ditch the original ending. If they had gone with the original, who knows where it would rank among the other Hitchcock creations…


The Humpo Show | Richard

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15 thoughts on “Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon | Suspicion (1941)

  1. Pingback: The Third Annual Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon Arrives – Maddy Loves Her Classic Films

  2. I know what you mean about the ending. I went back forth on how I felt about it for years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it works in the context of the story. The film is about her suspicions and paranoia, so what we get at the end shows us how those things can drive us to believe something that isn’t true. It would have been very dark indeed if the supposed killer was the killer.

    I like Cary and Joan in this. Cary gets to play a darker character here than he usually did. Interesting to watch.

    Thanks for joining me for the blogathon, Richard. Hope everything is good with you.

  3. A lot of people feel the same way about the ending, and I can understand why. I think the story could work either way. The problem is not so much whether Grant is guilty or not, but that the ending is badly fumbled. Still an interesting film, although it’s clearly not top grade Hitchcock.

  4. I really like how you approached this. You tried to be fair in your assessment. I’ve yet to see this film, but I have listened to a radio version with Grant and Fontaine, which I very much enjoyed.

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