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TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers (Suspicion / Strangers on a Train / The Wrong Man / I Confess)

Montgomery Clift , Anne Baxter , Alfred Hitchcock    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers (Suspicion / Strangers on a Train / The Wrong Man / I Confess) + TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries (The Maltese Falcon / The Big Sleep / Dial M for Murder / The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946)
Price For Both: CDN$ 23.98


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Repeated viewings can't dispel the shock of the final scene in this classic 1941 romantic mystery--a brief but disorienting confrontation that suddenly inverts the heroine's mounting conviction that she's married a murderer, forcing us to reconsider virtually every scene and line of dialogue that's preceded it. It's a masterful coup de grace for director Alfred Hitchcock, who has built a puzzle around the corrosive power of suspicion, threaded with deft ambiguities that toy with dramatic conventions and character archetypes in nearly every frame.

As embodied by Joan Fontaine, who nabbed an Oscar in this second outing with the director, Lina McLaidlaw is a buttoned-up, bookish heiress whose prim exterior conceals longings for a more engaged emotional life. Her solution materializes in the darkly handsome Johnnie Aysgarth, a gambler, womanizer, and spendthrift who flirts, then pursues, and soon marries her. As Aysgarth, Cary Grant is both irresistible and sinister, capable of deceit and petty theft, as well as grander designs on his bride's impending fortune. Lina's passion for Johnnie is clouded by each new revelation about his apparent dishonesty, from clandestine gambling to real estate development schemes; more troubling are clues implicating him in the death of his best friend, and the prospect that Johnnie may be slowly poisoning Lina herself. By the time we see him ascending a darkened staircase with a suspicious glass of milk, an image made all the more indelible through the spectral glow the director captures in the glass, the evidence seems damning indeed.

In fact, even as Hitchcock stacks the deck against Johnnie, and takes full advantage of Grant's skill at conveying such menace, the director also dots his landscape with visual clues to Lina's own neurotic (and erotic) obsessions. The final scene forces us to reevaluate her behavior while leaving enough of a cloud over Johnnie to rob him, and us, of a complete exoneration. It's a wicked, unsettling payoff to a brilliantly executed thriller. --Sam Sutherland


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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better but still good... Aug. 19 2002
By ehakus
Format:VHS Tape
Suspicion is a great film, as are most Alfred Hitchcock films. It features two talented classic stars, Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, and is very suspenseful and chilling. Although this film could have been much better had the ending been different, it is still quite good as it is, especially because of Grant's amazing (but much ignored) performance as Johnny.
Essentially, Suspicion is the story of a bookish, shy English girl (Joan Fontaine) who falls in love with a charming but irresponsible man named Johnny (Cary Grant). As the film progresses, the audience begins to suspect Johnny of more than simply gambling and being irresponsible, which raises the question - are the suspicions justified or is "Monkey Face" (what Johnny calls his wife) just being paranoid?
The film progresses, building to a seemingly unforgettable conclusion - but then suddenly, and very unconvincingly, Johnny is vindicated! In my opinion, this ending, while still making Suspicion a great film and enjoyable to watch, really detracts from the overall effect. I feel that Hitchcock's original ending, in which Johnny gives his wife the poisoned milk, she drinks it, but writes a letter beforehand saying that she knew he was going to murder her, would have been far more effective. Sadly, however, because of Grant's matinee-idol appeal, the studio did not allow Hitchcock to cast him as a murderer (they feared it would hurt his popularity).
Anyhow, even though it is frustrating that Grant was so constrained by the studios and by his own persona, Suspicion is still a good film as it is, and is totally worth seeing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film! March 31 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Suspicion has all of the qualities of a great film, and then some. It's romantic, mysterious, and with much suspence throughout the whole film. Cary Grant is charming and debonior in the role, and Joan Fontaine is shy and beautiful. It's a very entertaining and intriguing film, entirely believable. It's amazing and suprising in how it ends. It's a film well worth seeing anytime.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE CLASSIC HITCHCOCK Feb. 28 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I received this DVD within a few days. If you are a Hitchcock fan then this is a great way to add to you collection. It's much cheaper to buy all four together. I knew these movies already but wanted them in my collection. I have already watched all four and love them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Montgomery Clift in a lesser-known role July 18 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are a Montgomery Clift fan, you will enjoy "I Confess". I love Quebec City, so the choice of location is an interesting bonus for me. Montgomery Clift is very believable as a priest and the romantic background that sets the plot in motion is well-played by both Clift and his leading lady, Anne Baxter. The very well-known stars in each of the other pictures in this 4 movie set remind me of how large a presence Alfred Hitchcock was in the movies back then. TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers (Suspicion / Strangers on a Train / The Wrong Man / I Confess)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stop Complaining! Just Watch the Movie! Jan. 17 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"Suspicion" is one more classic Alfred Hitchcock film. Like many, it too is filmed in murky but beautiful black and white. The key character is Cary Grant, who worked with the great director so often. Grant plays the role of a lying, scheming, swindling, cheating and thoroughly unlikable fellow. He marries a young but wealthy ingenue, Joan Fontaine. He is patently and without remorse after her inheritance. Fontaine quickly realizes the type of jerk she has married. She even starts to suspect that Grant is out to kill her! The plot further thickens when Grant's buddy, actor Nigel Bruce, dies suddenly on a business trip with Grant. We wait for one of those English detectives that Hitchcock casts so well to haul Grant off to jail. And then? Then there is that famous car ride that ends the movie so abruptly and has given other reviewers fits. It is all too true that "Suspicion" ends quickly with no clear-cut resolution. We are left with no clue if the couple divorced, lived happily ever after or if Grant finally got tossed in a British cooler. The abrupt and unresolved ending is similar to "Notorious". This reviewer has no problems with murky endings. Why not appreciate them "as is"? Some interesting sidebars: 1)"Suspicion" was filmed with an entirely British cast on a Hollywood lot, nowhere close to the English seashore.2) Grant was said to be furious at the Director because Hitchcock allegedly was very patient with Fontaine but hassled him during production. 3) Ms Fontaine won a 1941
Best Actress Oscar for her role, making her the ONLY actor/actress to be so recognized for a Hithcock film. The recommendation from this reviewer is to enjoy "Suspicion" for what it is-an above average suspense film with perhaps a hole or two in it.
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Format:VHS Tape
There are no directors better than Alfred Hitchcock in setting a mood of menace or a string of clues that point to some truly climactic ending. In SUSPICION, Hitchcock presents a view of good guy Cary Crant as a leering, lying, cad who may be guilty of even worse criminal behavior.
Grant is Johnnie, who opens as the Cary Grant his fans have always known: suave, handsome, dashing. Joan Fontaine is Lina, a rather bookish frump who nevertheless catches Johnnie's eye. Early on, Johnnie's interest in Lina is at least partly based on her family fortune. When the audience sees Grant going against type by playing the caddish Johnnie, they can see that behind the smiling eyes and suave grin lay a twist that no one would have believed. Director Hitchcock slowly builds up the character of Johnnie by innuendo. At each step of the way, Lina hears and sees the implied charges, but she always tries to find a rational answer that does not point toward what the audience sees as the inevitable truth. Nigel Bruce as Beaky, a childhood chum of Johnnie's, supplies the same innocent charm that he displayed earlier as Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes series. Here as Beaky, Bruce reinforces the twin nature of Johnnie: that is one must accept his negative side if one is to as readily accept his positive. With each revelation, first from Beaky, then from Johnnie's employer (Leo G. Carroll), the mounting evidence accrues to convince Lina that her husband is guilty of a series of crimes ranging from theft, to deception, to murder. The famous scene in which Johnnie brings Lina a glass of glowing milk indelibly etches in the audience's collective mind the conviction that Johnnie is indeed the creep that he appears to be.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's 2 dvd discs... not 4...
I was a little disappointed to find that this set is actually 2 double-sided DVD's (2 films on each disc), even though the amazon.ca product descriptions says it is 4 discs. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Andrew
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight thriller with star power
Cary Grant (Johnnie Aysgarth) was 37 when this was released and perhaps at the pinnacle of his sexual charm (but not at the pinnacle of his career by a long shot); and Joan... Read more
Published on April 10 2003 by Dennis Littrell
5.0 out of 5 stars A HITCHCOCK MASTERPIECE
Turner Classics/RKO Pictures:
It's been 6 long years since the advent of the DVD format and you have still not released this classic on DVD. PLEASE DO SO ASAP. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER LEACH
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy it over and over again!
Cary Grant stars as Johnny, a well-bred, but penniless English playboy, who meets, woos, quickly weds ugly-duckling hieress Lina (played by Joan Fontaine). Read more
Published on Dec 30 2002 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid!
This is a splendid Hitchcock film. This film has great acting and tension. I am happy to say that this movie won Best Actress (Joan Fontaine) in 1941. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Please enter a title for your review:
First off let me warn you that the colourised version of this movie is SO BAD. If you buy it make sure you get the black and white version. The colourised one looks like someone... Read more
Published on July 31 2002 by J B
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Hitchcock . . . Untill The End
Hitchcock originally wanted to end this movie MUCH differently. Unfortunatly the ending that he had in mind involved Cary Grant being a murderer and the studio didn't like that and... Read more
Published on June 15 2001
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