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Hollywood Theatre

Hollywood Theatre

Suspicion

Hollywood Theatre "Suspicion"
Airs Saturday, March 23 at 9:00 PM

Handsome, irresponsible cad Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) sweeps dowdy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine) off her feet and charms her into running away and marrying him, despite the strong disapproval of her wealthy father, General McLaidlaw (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). After their honeymoon, they set up housekeeping in extravagant fashion, though she soon learns that Johnnie is broke and was hoping to live off her father's generosity. She persuades him to get a job and he goes to work for his cousin, estate agent Captain Melbeck (Leo G. Carroll).

Gradually, Lina learns that Johnnie has continued to gamble on the horses, despite his promise to quit, and that he has sold family heirloom chairs given to them as a wedding present to help pay for things. She repeatedly catches him in lies and discovers that he has been caught embezzling and fired from his job, though Melbeck assures her he will not prosecute if the money is repaid. Johnnie's good-natured, if scatterbrained, friend Beaky (Nigel Bruce) tries to reassure her that her husband is a good sort, but without much success.

When the general dies, Johnnie is severely disappointed to find that he has left Lina only his portrait -- which is later seen in some infrequently-used living room. He convinces Beaky to finance his next venture, a land development, even though neither of them knows much about the business. Lina tries to talk Beaky out of it, but he trusts his friend completely. Johnnie overhears and warns his wife to stay out of his affairs, but later calls the whole thing off. When Beaky leaves for Paris, Johnnie accompanies him partway. Later, news reaches Lina of Beaky's death in Paris. Johnnie misleads her and an investigating police inspector about remaining in London. This and other details lead Lina to suspect he caused his friend's demise.
She begins to fear that her husband is plotting to kill her for her life insurance. He has been questioning her friend Isobel Sedbusk (Auriol Lee), a writer of mystery novels, about untraceable poisons. Johnnie brings Lina a glass of milk before bed, but she is too afraid to drink it.

Needing to get away for a while, she makes up a story to stay with her mother for a few days. Johnnie insists on driving her there. He speeds recklessly in a powerful convertible (a 1936 Lagonda LG45[1]) on a dangerous road beside a cliff. Suddenly, Lina's door opens. Johnnie reaches for her, his intent unclear to the terrified woman. When she shrinks from him, he stops the car.

In the subsequent row, it emerges that Johnnie was actually intending to kill himself. Now however, he has decided that suicide is the coward's way out and is resolved to face his responsibilities and even go to jail for the embezzlement. He was actually in Liverpool at the time of Beaky's death, seeking to borrow on Lina's life insurance policy to settle matters with Melbeck. Her suspicions allayed, Lina tells him that they will face the future together.

Visit the local Hollywood Theatre website for more information on this and other related programs.