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Alfred Hitchcock: The Shape of Suspense

Friday, February 1, 2013
9:00 p.m. Suspicion
Alfred Hitchcock (U.S., 1941)

Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant star in this devilish thriller about a shy English lass married to a dashing, charming man, one who may or may not be a murderer. Similar to Hitchcock’s earlier Rebecca (which starred Fontaine and Laurence Olivier) in its awkward-wife-fearful-of-powerful-husband theme, Suspicion is energized by the irrepressible presence of Grant (in his first role with Hitchcock), who combines the witty appeal of his earlier comedies with the suave, manor-born entitlement of his more serious roles. Tackling class boundaries, newlywed unease, and the nature of trust, Suspicion was weakened by multiple script changes by a frightened studio who wanted Grant’s character to be as likable as possible.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Samson Raphaelson, Joan Harrison, Alma Reville, based on the novel Before the Fact by Anthony Berkeley. Photographed by Harry Stradling. With Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce. (99 mins, B&W, 35mm, From Warner Bros.)