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FRANK TUTTLE DIRECTS BARRY SULLIVAN & BELITA IN 'SUSPENSE'

Belita and Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE Year: 1946 Rating: ***1/2

It's hard living up to such a broad yet existential title as SUSPENSE; but the very beginning does it perfectly... albeit lasting only several seconds as an armed woman, flanked by two goons, aims her pistol at a ratty-looking fella, and then fires... hitting a target and winning the teddy bear prize, handed over by her "victim" working the stand...

Who then gives homeless-looking loser Barry Sullivan's Joe Morgan directions to an ice skating rink/auditorium... and what follows are the best sequences as Sullivan talks his way from being a popcorn vendor to security guard to practically running the show by making it more dangerous and thus... suspenseful...

Belita and Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE

Of course being a Noir he soon falls head-over-heels for a taken woman, and that's where real life ice skating champ Belita, married to the always-menacing Albert Dekker, comes in... she's the showcase star and he's the wealthy, enigmatic owner... and we eventually learn that Sullivan's quick climb was for reasons other than his fast-talking charm...

A shame since his character needed more spontaneous con artistry since, once he and Belita realize they're both equally smitten with each other... despite her husband's deadly intentions and a shady dame from the past (Bonita Gransville)... SUSPENSE, directed by THIS GUN FOR HIRE Frank Tuttle, in becoming a full-blown sport-propaganda/romantic melodrama, leaves those initial crime-genre origins on ice.

Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE
Belita in SUSPENSE
Belita in SUSPENSE
Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE
George E. Stone is the Opening Arcade Sequence of SUSPENSE with Marion Martin, Nestor Paiva and Dewey Robinson
Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE with Belita and Albert Dekker
The boss's manager Eugene Pallette with Barry Sullivan in SUSPENSE
Belita in SUSPENSE
Belita in SUSPENSE with Barry Sullivan
Belita in SUSPENSE with Albert Dekker
Belita in SUSPENSE with Barry Sullivan
Belita in SUSPENSE with Barry Sullivan
Bonita Granville in SUSPENSE
Warner Archives DVD of SUSPENSE

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