For Reel


The Suspect (1944)
August 31, 2015, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Robert Siodmak
3.5 Stars
The SuspectCharles Laughton gives one of his finest performances as the warmhearted tobacconist driven to murder in The Suspect. Bertram Millhauser’s screenplay often rehashes Philip Marshall’s (Laughton) very ordinariness–in the opening sequences set in Edwardian London (on “an unpretentious street with a pretentious name”), Marshall greets his neighbors with pleasant chatter about the weather and lovingly wishes his son (Dean Harens) off as he leaves the nest. Naturally, when it is surmised that Marshall is the prime suspect in the murder of his domineering wife (Rosalind Ivan), an investigator of Scotland Yard (Stanley Ridges) muses that he is, “not a killer by nature, but a man like you and I.” Director Robert Siodmak’s obsession with failed heroes turning to extreme actions is illustrated brilliantly in Laughton’s portrayal, where his dormant rage unburdens itself in moments that appear to startle even Laughton himself. Released a year before Fritz Lang’s Scarlett Street, The Suspect similarly demonstrates a fascination with what could lead an essentially decent man to crime. As Laughton warns early in the picture, “It’s the first step that counts, after that it all becomes too easy.”

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: