The Unsuspected

Film, Fantasy
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
A gilt-edged performance from Rains, revelling in sinister ambiguities as a radio personality/criminologist who, while regaling his fans with titillating tales of true crime and learned speculations as to the tortuous ways of the criminal mind, secretly commits a murder of his own. Based on a marvellous novel by Charlotte Armstrong, the film is considerably weakened by the fact that her intricate plot is partly discarded. But this hardly matters, since Curtiz wraps the rest up in a pyrotechnic display of expressionistic effects, including one shot in which a girl dying of poison is coolly watched through the bubbles in a champagne glass, and another in which a reluctant killer broods in his sleazy hotel room while Rains (who is blackmailing him into killing again) can be heard droning away on the radio and part of a neon sign seen flashing on and off outside urges 'kill...kill...kill'. The use Curtiz makes of the weirdly opulent mansion in which most of the action takes place is almost as psychologically acute as in Losey's The Prowler.

By: TM

Release details

103 mins

Cast and crew

Michael Curtiz
Ranald MacDougall, Bess Meredyth
Claude Rains
Joan Caulfield
Audrey Totter
Constance Bennett
Hurd Hatfield
Michael North
Fred Clark
Jack Lambert

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I had seen this movie on TCM (it can only happen there) some time ago and am still looking forward to seeing it again. The acting is so superb and chilling in only the way we can be entertained by the Golden Age of Movies and those Stars - they cannot be replaced. Although I do wish there could have been a little more romance between Virginia Mayo and Michael North; Oh well, just sit back. enjoy an evening of mystery - don't forget the popcorn.It is so well performed and directed. My interest in Claude Raines increases. He was a fabulous actor and should have been more appreciated because of the range of drama he gave to us. Thank you, Mr. Raines - remember from Casablanca: "I'm shocked, schocked -" about the gambling in Rick's Cafe as he is handed his winnings! Did he really gamble? Who cares - Mr. Raines was a brilliant talent and thankfully we can still see his fabulous work.