Crime Of Old: “The Suspect”

What does a man in Edwardian England do when his marriage is hopeless?  Well, he should not fall in love with another woman.  This is what Philip Marshall in The Suspect (1944) does, and his outraged wife, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West, refuses to give him a divorce.  The presence of young Mary, Philip’s love interest, keeps him in town and makes him desperate.  Ergo he kills his wife, in a murder  plot not exactly believable.  Very easily he becomes The Suspect.

This Robert Siodmak film is an Old Hollywood crime story set in Old London.  In polished black and white, it isn’t anything important but it is entertaining enough, what with, for one thing, Charles Laughton in the leading part.  Rosalind Ivan is good and true as the shrewish wife, and although I regard Ella Raines as perfectly passable as Mary, I wish Universal had hired a Brit, not an American, for the role.  Not bloody likely:  other women in the film are American too.

(Seen on YouTube)

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