A mousy drugstore manager turns killer after his conniving wife leaves him for another man. He devises a complex plan, which involves assuming a new identity, to make it look like someone else murdered her new boyfriend. Things take an unexpected turn when someone else commits the murder first and he becomes the prime suspect. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Near the end, Warren Quimby puts both his hands in his pockets while facing the camera and talking. Then, in a reverse shot from behind, he is seen with his hands out of his pockets and putting them in again. See more »
Tension is an okay MGM noir from 1949, but, despite a bizarre opening with Barry Sullivan's homicide cop explaining to camera the principles of tension with the aid of a rubber band, it's noticeably anything but tense. Richard Basehart's the downtrodden druggist who comes up with the perfect plan to kill sluttish wife Audrey Totter's new 'big man' Lloyd Gough only to decide not to go through with it (understandable since in the meantime he's fallen for Cyd Charisse, which is a definite trade up). Unfortunately for him, someone does the job for him and the false identity he has created to take the blame becomes the prime suspect If the pitch is similar to Henri-Georges Clouzot's Quai des Orfevres, made two years earlier, the execution couldn't be more different, with the first half focussing on Basehart's preparations and the second on Sullivan and William Conrad's investigation as the lead cop decides the best way to solve the case is to hit on Totter. The absence of suspects is a bit of a problem (the motive for the killing is never discovered), but it ticks over efficiently enough even if it could have benefited from a tighter running time and a sharper script.
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