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Guilty by Suspicion (1991)

PG-13 | | Drama | 15 March 1991 (USA)
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 »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

All it took was a whisper.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

15 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schuldig bei Verdacht  »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,480,198 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Wanamaker, who plays Felix Graff, really was in real life once blacklisted himself during the McCarthy era by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

I'M JUST A LUCKY SO AND SO
Written by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Mack David
Performed by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington
Courtesy of Blue Note Records (Roulette)
A division of Capitol Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
Excellent re-telling of a dark period in America
2 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

Robert DeNiro plays David Merrill, a movie director who is 'Zanuck's wonder boy' at Fox as the movie opens. He's been in Europe for awhile so does not know the full impact the HUAC has been exerting on actors in Hollywood. Zanuck asks David to 'purge himself' so instructs him to meet with a man who has a lot of questions for him, all having to do with people he might or might not know (real actors names are mentioned in this scene) and DeNiro complies, but only to a point, because his best friend Bunny Baxter (George Wendt) is the last name on the 'list.' David can't deal with any of it anymore and storms out of the meeting.

Eventually he finds out the hard way that because he is being uncooperative, he is being portrayed as a Communist sympathizer and cannot get anymore work as a director in movies so he moves to New York to try to get work in the theatre.

Movie has a strange feel to it. There is something underlying in almost every scene, a strange current that flows through the movie because so much of this is about what is unsaid, what is damaging and what is the right thing to do. Husbands betray wives, best friends name best friends, and no one knows how to destroy this thing that has invaded them.

DeNiro, Annette Bening, George Wendt and Chris Cooper are riveting. Sam Wanamaker, Martin Scorsese, Tom Sizemore and Ben Piazza are very good in small roles. Patricia Wettig goes slightly over the top as an actress whose child was taken from her.

Not fun, but worth seeing, and for fans of old cars, DeNiro drives around in the most beautiful white convertible you've ever seen. Wish I knew what type of car it is! 8/10.


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