7.2/10
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Tension (1949)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1949 (USA)
A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the story by) (as John Klorer)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mary Chanler
...
Lt. Collier Bonnabel
Lloyd Gough ...
Barney Deager
Tom D'Andrea ...
Freddie
...
Lt. Edgar Gonsales
Tito Renaldo ...
Narco
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Every Two-Timing Kiss You Will Feel... TENSION See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O agnostos eihe diplo allothi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$682,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Tension" was shooting at about the same time in 1949 as Side Street (1950), and the latter film utilizes the pharmacy set and its phone booth to allow Farley Granger to make a phone call. See more »

Goofs

When Claire is flirting with Junior and orders dessert, there is an advertisement for Dad's Root Beer on the wall behind her. The word "beer" is marked out. Then when she flirts with a customer, the sign is not marked. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. Collier Bonnabel: I'm Collier Bonnabel. I'm a cop. I'm a Lieutenant Detective in, uh, Homicide. That's a fancy name for murder. We get plenty of tough cases. Solve most of 'em, sure. But how?
[begins to stretch and relax a rubber band]
Lt. Collier Bonnabel: I only know one way, one thing that breaks 'em wide open - tension. I work on people, on suspects. Play up to them. Play up to their strengths, pour it on their weaknesses. Romance 'em or ignore 'em. Kiss 'em. Press 'em. But whatever way, keep stretching them.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent mid-century melodrama
13 March 2005 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Although a bit noir-sh at times, and produced during the golden era of that film genre, this is by no means a pure film noir. Rather, "Tension" is a B-movie version of the melodramas popular at all of the studios during the late 40s. And, certainly, as suggested by other posters, this film has no business being compared to Hitchcock.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with the talent, direction, script and locations.

Granted, the whole "Clark-Kent-wearing-glasses-isn't-Superman" form of disguise is ludicrous, but it has always been an accepted modus-operandi for the concept of hidden identities on stage, film and TV. The performances of all of the leads are good - none chew the scenery. Basehart never "got his due" as an actor, as I'm afraid most remember him as the captain on TV's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" in the 60s. Totter is excellent, and while Cyd Charisse is little more than set dressing, she requites herself well.

The techniques of law have certainly changed, as the means of tricking the guilty party in this film is nothing less than entrapment.

And for those of you interested in architecture, that great Deco-ish apartment complex featured in the film is still much the same 55 years later, even down to the vines on the railing. It is located off West Olympic Blvd, just west of Century City (across from Pavilion's, behind hotel). By the way, contrary to what a previous poster states, most of this film takes place in Culver City - only the beach house and apartment complex are "in" Malibu. Being an MGM film, they stuck close to home with locations.

UPDATE: Bad news - that beautiful apt. complex is coming down in 2006. Now THAT is a crime!

Update 2: Jan 2007 - the building is still there.

Update 3: Oct 2008 - they're moving people out by 2010.

Update 4: October 2013 - still there!!


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