directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Oscars: Best Actress – Joan Fontaine
Cary Grant film #41 of 74. Grant plays a roguish playboy (I’m seeing a theme to the parts the man gets). Being a Hitchcock film, the plot is a bit nuanced for the general paintstrokes I’m going to give it, but it’ll have to suffice for now. Fontaine (a babe) (an unnecessary paranthetical) plays a timid naive bookish girl, Lina, still living with her parents in their gigantic home. Grant, it is assumed, is broke and latches on to her money/her almost immediately. But the beauty of it is that’s not how the film, to me, played out in the first 20 minutes. It was more like a genuine love story, and you were wondering…wait…this is a Hitchcock film, something has to go horribly wrong. And then it just starts getting worse and worse for Lina. First she finds out that Johnnie (Grant) is broke and assuming that she will pay for everything. As things spiral down, people start dying, and Lina thinks she’s next. However, the ending was totally confusing, and I was left scratching my head. Soooo, did he want to kill her? …. or not? Boom, Suspicion.
Grant, as a definite departure, played a convincing menace/not?menace. I’ve read since that the studio made Hitchcock change the ending of the film, well that makes a little more sense. As a retrospect I think people can swallow Cary Grant murdering someone, but at the time midway through his career, he had that laughable, carefree, comedic image to keep up with people. So there’s that. Also Joan Fontaine, my oh my, what a babe. Great hairstyles, great dresses, great, great, great acting.
Underrated Actors: well Fontaine won Best Actress, so she’s not underrated… let’s go with Nigel Bruce as Beaky, who kept referring to Johnnie as OB or ‘Ol’ Bean’ and Lina as ‘Ol’ Girl’