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Guilty by Suspicion (1991)

PG-13 | | Drama | 15 March 1991 (USA)
2:09 | Trailer

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David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on... See full summary »



2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bunny Baxter
Dorothy Nolan
Felix Graff
Paulie Merrill
Larry Nolan
Ben Piazza ...
Joe Lesser
Bert Alan
Chairman Wood
Congressman Tavenner
Brad Sullivan ...
Congressman Velde
Ray Karlin
Felicia Barron (as Roxann Biggs)


David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and he is unable to work until cleared. Before being called, his highest priority had been his work to the extent of leaving his wife (Annette Bening) and son (Luke Edwards) alone for months at a time. He initially refuses to implicate others or himself in a private meeting with Roy Cohn and a studio lawyer. This decision initially to stick to his principles first leaves him unable to work in his profession, even with films and producers he never would have worked with before. Harassment by the FBI leaves him unable to work on Broadway, with advertising agencies, or even in a small film repair shop. Finally, having fallen so far, and tempted with a new offer to direct a film from his old studio (if he testifies), he agrees to go before the Committee, initially planning to ... Written by Mike Harris <mharris@injersey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All it took was a whisper.




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schuldig bei Verdacht  »

Box Office


$9,480,198 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the article 'McCarthyism Made Simple' by Jonathan Rosenbaum published in 'The Chicago Reader', this picture was "the first Hollywood feature devoted in its entirety to the film-industry blacklist (The Front (1976) dealt with TV)". See more »


Dorothy kills herself by backing up her car falling over a cliff. However, no person is seen when the car goes downhill. See more »


Larry Nolan: Don't make me crawl through the mud... they're my friends.
See more »


Features Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) See more »


Written by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Performed by Marilyn Monroe
See more »

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User Reviews

"Guilty By Suspicion" Is True to Form ***1/2
15 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert DeNiro will not give names to the House UnAmerican Activities committee. There goes his Hollywood career. His marriage to Ruth, Annette Bening, has already ended in divorce, so why not the rest of his life down the drain as well?

The film is very similar in nature to Woody Allen's "The Front" of the 1970s. If you've seen the latter, you know what the ending shall be. It's called principles above all.

Patricia Wettig gives a fine supporting performance as an actress turned in by her own husband with tragedy resulting.

Nice to see Martin Scorsese go in front of the cameras for this film. He is fleeing to England to escape testifying.

We get a wonderful sense of the 1950s in Hollywood. Marilyn Monroe is hot and so is this film.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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