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Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on the eve of World War 2. Written by
Well, if Joan Crawford didn't know the end was near for her at MGM, she knew it when she was handed "Above Suspicion," based on the novel of the same name by Helen MacInnes. I read the novel years ago and confess I don't remember much of it.
The year is 1939, before war breaks out. Crawford plays a newlywed, and Fred MacMurray her American husband, who teaches at Oxford. The couple are asked by the foreign office to track down someone while honeymooning in Germany, a man who can help the Allies regarding a German secret weapon. This weapon is a magnetic water bomb that is pulled to a ship and explodes. At first, it's fun; then it becomes dangerous.
This is an entertaining film in part thanks to a good cast of Crawford, MacMurray, Basil Rathbone, and Conrad Veidt. There are some suspenseful sequences. There is also some real stuff of spy books and films - special hats, song codes, codes on maps and in books.
"Above Suspicion" doesn't seem very big budget and despite some Bavarian costumes and quaint German towns, it's all Hollywood set. Given the huge films Crawford took part in at MGM, this black and white movie must have seemed like a come-down. It was. Louis B didn't want over the hill actresses - i.e., those over 30. There's nothing special about her part, which could have been done by any MGM stock player. And at 38, for those days, she was a little old to be a bride. Better things were on the horizon for Crawford, though she couldn't have known it at the time.
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