Suspicion

A stinking rich young woman, Linda (Joan Fontaine) falls for the charming-but-cheap Johnnie (Cary Grant) after they encounter each other on a train. But will someone become suspicious of someone? I sure hope so.

Suspicion moves at a very brisk pace, bordering on the incomprehensibly hurried. The couple have barely met before they fall madly in love, to the point of Linda rejecting her father’s wishes to marry him. Its conclusion is equally rushed, explaining the plot and ending the film before you can catch a breath.

It would have worked better as a slow burner, allowing the master of suspense to actually create some as the suspicion slowly builds. But it instead takes cavernous leaps from A to B which often fail to bring the audience with them. With trains, cars and rugged coastal scenery, this definitely feels like a Hitchock film. But with a bare minimum of character development, it’s Hitchcock on auto-pilot, and never moves beyond mild intrigue.

Yet it’s buoyed by excellent performances from Grant and Fontaine, in their archetypal roles. She is the naive young woman, he is the smooth and mysterious stranger, able to make even the most back-handed compliment sound appealing. And as a result it will still please fans of retro campery.

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