***NOMINATED FOR 3 OSCARS, WON ONE OSCAR***
Raw cinematic art. Suspense thriller at its best. Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion is yet another example of how great a visionary he was.
Suspicion would be the movie that put, Alfred Hitchcock’s name on all the publicity material thereafter. It was a huge success at the box office! It was also the only movie that Hitchcock directed in which one of his leads actually won an Oscar. And interestingly enough, it was strongly thought at the time that Joan Fontaine’s win was only a ‘consolation’ win for her previous’ year nomination, for her role in another of Hitchcock’s movie, Rebecca. Regardless I think that both leads, Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine deliver great performances.
Crazily enough Joan Fontaine and her sister Olivia de Havilland were the first sisters to be both nominated for an Oscar, and the first ones to be nominated on the same year! Guess what year it was? 1941, the year that Joan Fontaine won for her role in Suspicion! There was a strong dislike between the two sisters, and the race for an Oscar win in 1941 only made this mutual dislike worse and their jealously only escalated. Sadly they never reconciled.
Back to Hitchcock…
What I love most about this film is its evolving nature. The feel of the movie goes from jolly to pensive, and then to outright Hitchcock-ian thriller! You can hear as the score subtly changes in undertone, until it hits, and you remember that you’re indeed watching a Hitchcock. Notwithstanding, you are constantly presented with the ‘master’s’ best. Cleverly shot angles, the astounding use of shadows, as seen in the still above, and knife sharp editing, all key elements that add to the suspicious nature if this film.
One of my favourite shots are when Hitchcock presents to us a ‘creepy Cary Grant’, and you feel as if he is creeping up behind you. A very clever was of introducing the main suspect into scenes, he does this more than once during this cinematic jewel.
There was dispute over the films ending, Hitchcock wanted a darker version of events, but it was thought best for the Cary Grant image, plus his fan base, that he be somehow redeemed. The way we see the movie now, is perhaps not entirely the way that Hitchcock may have wanted it, nonetheless, it’s a solid end.
If you haven’t seen this film, I strongly recommend you munch on it. The entire film, from beginning till the final scene, is constantly building suspense and intrigue, it will have you full of Suspicion!
TRIVIA COOKIES: In a key scene, Alfred Hitchcock used a nifty trick to enhance the visual elements of the shot. He used a glass with a battery operated light bulb, to draw attention to it, to add suspicion, did he add poison to the glass???
As per tradition, Hitchcock immortalises himself with a cameo, in case you missed it, he is the man by the post box, with the hat.