The Unsuspected

The Unsuspected (1947) is a film noir starring Claude Rains, Audrey Totter, and Joan Caulfield. The black-and-white film was directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a novel written by Charlotte Armstrong, and released by Warner Brothers.


The story involves a woman who is found dead hanging from a chandelier in a posh mansion occupied by Victor Grandison. Grandison, a popular "true crime" radio story host, has arranged for the murder and set it up to look like suicide. The police have no reason to doubt it, but a mysterious man arrives claiming to be Grandison's niece's husband and immediately begins to investigate the killing.

Critical response

Critics compare the film to Laura and, though most reviews are positive, some find the film formulaic and predictable. Channel 4's review of the film states: "Lacking any real depth or complexity, the film relies on sterling performances from the cast, with Rains and his victim Caufield superb, and Curtiz's uncharacteristically quirky direction for its success."

Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward's listing of the movie in the book Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style writes that the film is impressive because of its emphasis on style: "Jack Lambert as the blackmailed killer lies in bed smoking. The radio is on and Alexander Grandison is detailing the story of his particular crime. The only source of the illumination in this dingy hotel room comes from a partially obscured flashing neon sign. The letters that are visible through the window seem to echo the thoughts of the uncomfortable murderer as it keeps blinking "KILL... KILL... KILL."

External links


  1. Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward (1992). Film Noir An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style. The Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-479-5.

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