When I watched Suspicion this week I did not feel overly impressed however the film has stayed in my mind for some time which makes me think their may have been more that I enjoyed than I first thought.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Mr. Asgarth (Cary Grant) meets a young lady Lina (Joan Fontaine) by chance on a train. They fall in love and marry, however when Lina discovers that her new husband is a gambling addict in serious debt she becomes suspicious as to the things he will do in order to pay back the money he owes.

THE GOOD

As I said earlier when I watched the film I was not overly impressed but as it has played on my mind I have started to think of some small things that make this feel really quite good. The film is incredibly slow building with nothing vaguely ‘Suspicion’ appearing until at least half-way through, however once Lina’s suspicion is aroused the film appears relentless dropping the audience with clue after clue as we Lina doubts herself and fears for her life. The tension towards the climax of the film is insane with Cary Grant performing the role of ‘nice but threatening’ guy perfectly.

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In terms of Hitchcockian features there are a few that are worth mentioning namely the use of close ups of notes and newspapers. This film has several which help tell the story from a visual point-of-view rather than a vocal one which is quite nice to watch. There is also a few scenes set high up on cliffs with the height of the cliff being used to build up tension.

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THE BAD

The main reasons why I didn’t like the film are ones which still stand, they are as follows. The entire courtship between the two leads is incredibly cheesy and dated, they literally meet, dance, go for a drive and then confess their love for one another. This came across as hilarious (and not in a good way) and really took me out of the film. This sort of cheesy thing appeared throughout the film however when the tension began to build was easily forgotten.

Another reason I dislike the film is because of the ending, which is frankly a massive disappointment. The film builds incredibly well then all of sudden it ends with a few lines of dialogue tying the entire plot together. After some research it was easy to discover this is not the ending, which Hitchcock wanted, but due to difficulties with audience feedback it had to be changed.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock makes a cameo posting a letter about halfway into the film.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Suspicion is an interesting film and I’m still unsure as to how to mark it. Upon watching I was really not overly impressed however the slow-building of the tension really got my mind involved and put me inside Lina’s head which I guess means that the film achieved its aim. I therefore give the film 4 Hitchs.

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