The Suspect (1944)

Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Dean Harens, Stanley Ridges,
The Suspect is a movie starring Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, and Dean Harens. An unhappily married man begins a flirtation with a younger woman. When his wife threatens to ruin her, he decides to take action.
  • 7.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Bertram Millhauser, Arthur T. Horman, James Ronald, Writer:
  • Robert Siodmak, Director:
  • Islin Auster, Producer:

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7 / 10

Top Laughton performance in excellent thriller

Charles Laughton stars in director Robert Siodmak's excellent 1944 suspense thriller as a middle-aged shop manager in turn-of-the-century London who's driven to murder his shrewish wife when he falls in love with a beautiful young woman, and is then pursued by both a determined Scotland Yard detective and a blackmailing neighbor.

Laughton gives one of his most subtle, controlled performances as a basically good man who turns murderous when his nagging wife threatens to expose his "friendship" with beautiful Ella Raines. Miss Raines is very appealing as his heart's desire, and looks quite beautiful in the period costumes. Rosalind Ivan, who has a similar role as Edward G. Robinson's emasculating wife in Fritz Lang's 'Scarlet Street,' 1945, is excellent as the nagging wife. And Henry Daniell and Molly Lamont also offer top support as Laughton's no-account neighbor and his abused wife.

An excellent story of murder and blackmail that will appeal to fans of both Hitchcock-like thrillers and the marvelous Charles Laughton.

8 / 10

A Laughton Treat

I'm converted to the YouTube cause. If it wasn't for YouTube I may never had seen this jewel, with a performance by the extraordinary Charles Laughton that is nothing short of magnificent. The tenderness of the man! Director Robert Siodmak creates a perfect noir without low blows or gimmicks. Ella Raines is lovely as the object of his affection and Rosalind Ivan is priceless as the awful wife. The last shot is pure Laughton and his personal struggle for integrity. Loved it.

10 / 10

Why is this film noir masterpiece not on DVD??!!

Well, I won't bother to summarize what unfolds in this excellent suspense film starring the incredibly talented Charles Laughton, since other reviewers above have done so quite nicely, and have also touted the film's good qualities. I just watched my old VHS copy (taped off TV) last night (sort of fuzzy, but better than nothing). Why on earth Universal Pictures does not release this little gem on DVD, which it richly deserves, I will never understand. I am sure many discerning film buffs and Laughton fans would buy it in a New York minute. And, I mustn't forget to comment on how marvellously Rosalind Ivan portrays the wife from hell.

8 / 10

Anodyne affected affairs of the heart.

The Suspect is directed by Robert Siodmak and adapted to screenplay by Bertram Millhauser and Arthur T. Horman from the novel "This Way Out" written by James Ronald. It stars Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Dean Harens, Stanley Ridges, Henry Daniell and Rosalind Ivan. Music is by Frank Skinner and cinematography by Paul Ivano.

In 1902 Edwardian London, unhappily married shopkeeper Philip Marshall (Laughton) meets beautiful Mary Gray (Raines) and a tender friendship begins to form. But once Philip's wife discovers what is going on she threatens him with exposure and scandal, forcing Philip to take drastic action...

How delightfully off, that a film that features a wife murderer, an alcoholic wife beater, and blackmail, should be so restrained and actually beautiful. The Suspect in principal is about a decent man pushed to do bad things by his awful life, a man who then finds hope springs from a most unlikely source. The moral shadings here are most intricate, Laughton's Philip Marshal is a completely sympathetic and fascinating character, and so the makers deftly toy with our perceptions in the process.

There's no mystery element to drive the story forward, we are only really left wondering how the finale will play out. However, the lack of mystery is not a problem, for the astute and wily Siodmak has a keen eye for suspense and he knows how to use gaslight interiors and foggy streets to represent the psychological turmoil of Philip and his life that's now drastically changing. Murder as justifiable homicide? Ridding the world of bad people is OK? Rest assured that this is far darker than it appears on the surface.

Brilliantly performed by Laughton and Raines, and mounted with great atmospheric skill by Siodmak, The Suspect is a little seen gem waiting to be found by a wider audience. 8/10

8 / 10

Excellent Thriller

"The Suspect" is a taut suspenser, grandly acted by Charles Laughton and fine cast, and beautifully produced. But who can see it? Unfortunately, for some strange reason, the film was never brought out on video format. This comment is written to hopefully create some interest in helping to rectify this void. With all the less capable films on video, this is one omission which needs to be seriously addressed. ###