"And goodbye to Metro after eighteen years." ~Joan Crawford's comment after she made "Above Suspicion."
"Above Suspicion" 1943
Cast: Joan Crawford~Fred MacMurray~Conrad Veidt~Basil Rathbone~Reginald Owen~Cecil Cunningham~Richard Ainley~Ann Shoemaker~Sara
Haden~Felix Bressart~Bruce lestor~Johanna Hoper~Lotta Palfi~Alex Papana.
Director: Richard Thorpe
Costumes by Irene & Gile Steele
Box Office Figures for "Above Suspicion":
Cost: $N/A ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $ N/A. ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $ N/A
Total: $ N/A / Profit: $ N/A
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Rating: 4 Stars
Review: "Above Suspicion" was Joan Crawford's last film with MGM before she left for greener pastures and more
challenging opportunities at Warner's. Contrary to the general myth or consensus, this film is actually more satisfying and
entertaining than some of her earlier MGM output (and later work) where the scripts were as thin as gossamer even though her
charisma (or the pairing of Crawford with a delicious co-star like Clark Gable) helped one overlook the banality in the MGM
fluff. To my mind, "Above Suspicion" is an escapist delight with a great cast (led by Crawford, Fred MacMurray,
and Basil Rathbone), a swift pace and tongue-in-cheek lightness, all packed into an economical 90 minutes. Surprisingly,
Fred MacMurray and Joan Crawford have wonderful chemistry together and are quite engaging and believable as Richard and Frances
Myles, a pair of American newlyweds improbably hired by the British Secret Service to act as spies in Nazi-dominated Europe
during World War II. The idea is that the couple will be "above suspicion." The silly idiosyncrasies of MGM; the
tunes hummed; the oversized rose on Crawford's hat as a "signal"; the assassination scene; the assorted kidnappings
and disguises; the enthusiasm of the amateur sleuths in unraveling clues and their general cool under pressure; the absurdity
of having MacMurray as a professor at Oxford -- it all works as sheer fun and rolls smoothly along with nothing to be taken
seriously and Rathbone a great heavy. Along with moments of genuine suspense and a sweet affection between the two leads,
there are also some fun musical interludes where Crawford plays the piano and together with MacMurray, sings.
Interestingly, the hard-shelled dame image most commonly associated with Crawford's screen work is actually not representative
of the great bulk of her career. She actually ran the gamut during her 50-year run as an actress and it's enjoyable when
she plays "out of the box." Here, she has the "classic Crawford" face in place (the one that would become
best identified as her "look" henceforth), but her personality has the lightness of her MGM roles and a sweet, kittenish
quality that is very winning. Highly enjoyable entertainment.
Stars: 5 stars
Review: I really love this movie. It's my favorite Joan Crawford movie ever. I'm really glad I have this on video. I think
it's really crafty when they have to find little clues to work this riddle out.