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Suspense (1913)

 -  Short | Thriller  -  6 July 1913 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 389 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door, and puts the key under the mat. Alone in the house is a mother and her infant... See full summary »


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Title: Suspense (1913)

Suspense (1913) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast overview:
Val Paul ...
The Husband (as Valentine Paul)
Douglas Gerrard ...
Sam Kaufman ...


An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door, and puts the key under the mat. Alone in the house is a mother and her infant. A tramp watches the servant leave, then begins to skulk. The woman sees him outside as he discovers the latchkey. She phones her husband, who's working in town, and he jumps into a car idling in front of his office. He races toward home while the car's owner (and the police) are in pursuit. The tramp grabs a knife and heads up the stairs toward the defenseless woman. Can the husband elude the police long enough to rescue her or will the tramp have his way? Written by <>

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Short | Thriller





Release Date:

6 July 1913 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A Print survives in the National Film Archives, in London See more »


The Wife: [on the phone with her husband, telling him about the tramp] Now he is opening the kitchen door. Now he is in the...
[the tramp saws through the phone wire]
See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Pioneers (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

A Real Masterpiece
1 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Suspense (1913)

**** (out of 4)

This semi-remake of D.W. Griffith's 1911 film A WOMAN SCORNED takes many of the masters best known techniques and adds new one to them making the end result certainly live up to the title. A woman's maid quits without notice leaving her and her baby all alone when a tramp comes upon the house, finds a key under the door mat and decides to come in. The woman frantically calls her husband at work and he must try and get home before the tramp reaches his wife. This is one of the most legendary films from this era and it's easy to see why because not only does it take stuff from Griffith but there's also enough new stuff here that you'd have to wonder if someone like Fritz Lang or Alfred Hitchcock saw this and learned some of their trade. There are so many wonderful moments here including one where the camera is placed above the tramp looking down on him. Another great scene happens when a car accidentally runs over a man and the way it's shot is just breath taking to watch. The most important thing seen here are a couple split screens where the screen breaks down into three sections and we get to see what all the major characters are doing. This is used to great effect when the wife is on the phone with the husband and the tramp cuts the phone line. As was the case in many Griffith films, the ending pretty much has the good guy having to reach the bad guy before it's too late and directors Phillips Smalley and Lois Weber (who plays the wife) do a terrific job at slowly building up suspense and then pushing it into high gear once everything begins to mount up.

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