The Suspect


1h 25m 1945

Brief Synopsis

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?

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 26, 1945
Premiere Information
World premiere in San Francisco: 22 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel This Way Out by James Ronald (Philadelphia and New York, 1939).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,653ft

Synopsis

In 1903, kindly London tobacconist Philip Marshall lives on Laburnum Street with his adult son John and his shrewish wife Cora. Unable to stand his mother anymore, John moves out and Philip takes this opportunity to move into his son's old room. Later, Philip takes pity on Mary Gray, a young, out-of-work stenographer, and invites her out to dinner and finds her a job as a dress shop model. The two soon begin seeing each other regularly, although she is unaware that he is married. Returning home late one evening, Philip finds his bedroom door locked, forcing him to confront Cora and ask for a divorce. She refuses and threatens to ruin his good name if he leaves her. Philip then confesses all to Mary and ends their relationship. That Christmas, Cora tells her husband that she knows all about Mary, and even though Philip tells her that he is no longer seeing the young woman, Cora informs him that she still intends to have Mary fired from her job and evicted from her boardinghouse. Seeing no other alternative, Philip kills Cora. Although the coroner rules Cora's death an accident, Inspector Huxley of Scotland Yard begins an investigation of the case and correctly deduces that Cora was struck in the back of her head by a cane, and did not receive the wound by accidentally tripping down a flight of stairs, as previously assumed. With no incriminating evidence against Philip, Huxley looks for a motive and soon finds one when the tobacconist begins seeing Mary again. Huxley's investigation is stymied, however, when Philip and Mary wed, and, under English law, she cannot be forced to testify against her husband. Philip and Mary's marital bliss is later disrupted when Gilbert Simmons, their snobbish neighbor, informs Philip of his intention to falsely testify against him unless he is paid for his silence. Realizing that Gilbert will blackmail him into bankruptcy, Philip kills him by placing an overdose of Bayard's Anodyne in his whiskey. With two murders haunting him, Philip then convinces Mary to move to Canada, where they can join John, who has a new job there. She agrees, but just as the couple is boarding the ship to North America, Philip is informed by Huxley that Gilbert's body has been found and his abused wife Edith has been charged with his murder. Unwilling to let another suffer for his crimes, Philip gets off the ship and slowly heads toward Scotland Yard to turn himself in.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 26, 1945
Premiere Information
World premiere in San Francisco: 22 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel This Way Out by James Ronald (Philadelphia and New York, 1939).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,653ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film begins with the following written foreword: "It was an unpretentious street, but it had a pretentious name. That was the fashion in London of 1902. They called it Laburnum Terrace." Hollywood Reporter news items and production charts include Emily Massey in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add the following crew credits: Cam asst Robert Laylo and Frank Heisler. On April 9, 1945, Charles Laughton, Ella Raines and Rosalind Ivan reprised their screen roles in a radio version of The Suspect for the Lux Radio Theatre.