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Saturday Night Cinema: The Suspect

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Tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema classic is the excellent 1944 suspense thriller, The Suspect, starring the supreme Charles Laughton.

Directed by Robert Siodmak, Charles Laughton is joined by a stellar cast of Brits — Ella Raines, Dean Harens, Molly Lamont, Henry Daniell, Rosalind Ivan.

Superb, Hitchcock-like thriller of henpecked London tobacconist Laughton planning to get his wife out of the way so he can pursue lovely Raines.

In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip’s wife, who threatens him with exposure and scandal, driving him to kill her. Thereafter, fortune seems to smile on Philip Marshall; but does fate have a surprise in store

Laughton gives one of his most subtle, controlled performances as a basically good man who turns murderous when his nagging wife threatens to expose his “friendship” with beautiful Ella Raines. Miss Raines is very appealing as his heart’s desire, and looks quite beautiful in the period costumes. Rosalind Ivan, who has a similar role as Edward G. Robinson’s emasculating wife in Fritz Lang’s ‘Scarlet Street,’ 1945, is excellent as the nagging wife. And Henry Daniell and Molly Lamont also offer top support as Laughton’s no-account neighbor and his abused wife.

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