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Suspect (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  23 October 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 6,559 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 12 critic

A judge commits suicide, and his secretary is found murdered. A homeless deaf-mute man, Carl Anderson is arrested for her murder. Public defender Kathleen is assigned by the court as his ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Sanger
Judge Matthew Bishop Helms
Charlie Stella
Paul Gray
E. Katherine Kerr ...
Grace Comisky
Morty Rosenthal
Lisbeth Bartlett ...
Paul D'Amato ...
Bernie McInerney ...
Thomas Barbour ...
Justice Lowell
Katie O'Hare ...
Elizabeth Quinn
Justice Lowell's Secretary
Forensic Pathologist


A judge commits suicide, and his secretary is found murdered. A homeless deaf-mute man, Carl Anderson is arrested for her murder. Public defender Kathleen is assigned by the court as his lawyer. She sets to find the real killer, and gets help from the congressional advisor, Eddie Sanger who is called to be on the jury panel. Together they discover a dangerous circle of corruption in high places. Written by Sami Al-Taher <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jury | deaf mute | suicide | judge | murder | See All (74) »


No matter the cost, No matter the danger. They will find the truth.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sospechoso  »

Box Office


$18,782,400 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Second and final of two collaborations of actor Dennis Quaid and director Peter Yates. The first film was Breaking Away (1979) and the other Suspect (1987) which was made and released about eight years later. See more »


When Kathleen writes "HELP ME" on the chalkboard it is roughly in the center of the board and written somewhat lightly. A few seconds later as the suspect is writing, the words "HELP ME" are now way over to the right, written much darker and is not in the same handwriting. See more »


[Michael sneaks up behind Kathleen and holds a razor to her throat]
Michael: God is angry with the wicked! Why did you send the black devil for me?
Kathleen Riley: [stammering] Because Carl!
Michael: [interrupts] Carl has already been judged! The mighty hand struck him deaf and dumb.
[Michael continually jerks the razor around in a frenzied manor]
Kathleen Riley: [terrified] Okay.
Michael: Only the lord Jesus can take a soul. I saw the angel of death. I watched her die. I saw her spirit leave her body. She gave me a message from the Almighty. A key to the ...
See more »


Referenced in Reflections on Golden Pond (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good story and performances
18 May 2007 | by (Tulsa OK) – See all my reviews

I had missed this film during the many years since it was made, and caught it by chance on a Friday afternoon, after a particularly long and hectic week.

I thought I might nod off, but instead I found myself engrossed in it very soon. It has some far-fetched aspects, and as the "goofs" section in this site points out, it wouldn't have been tried in a federal court, but in the local D.C. courts. However, given the rather surprise ending, this would be a necessary variation, given its circumstances.

Cher is not a person whom you reference when thinking of leading, versatile actresses -- but this isn't so. This serious role, as well as a different type in the excellent "Moonstruck," display both her competence and versatility. Dennis Quaid is always excellent, and a favorite of mine, and the remaining cast were as well. John Mahoney's performance is well-delivered, and an interesting performance, in contrast with his more pleasant persona in "Moonstruck," also -- and particularly juxtaposed with his likable presence in the long-running "Frasier" series.

As another pointed-out, there is a surprise ending, if somewhat more abrupt than seems necessary.

But overall, an interesting, entertaining film.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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