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Wives Under Suspicion (1938)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 3 June 1938 (USA)
A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

Myles Connolly (original screenplay), Ladislas Fodor (suggested by a play "Suspicion" by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... District Attorney Jim Stowell
Gail Patrick ... Lucy Stowell
Ralph Morgan ... Shaw MacAllen
William Lundigan ... Phil
Constance Moore ... Elizabeth
Cecil Cunningham ... 'Sharpy'
Jonathan Hale ... Allison
Lillian Yarbo ... Creola
Milburn Stone ... Kirk
J. Anthony Hughes ... Murphy (as Anthony Hughes)
Samuel S. Hinds ... David Marrow
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Storyline

A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Razão Porque Matou See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$220,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ladislas Fodor's play opened in Vienna, Austria, during September 1932. See more »

Goofs

When Lucy Stowell walks over to the telephone to take a call, she throws the newspaper down on the floor in disgust, and it lands about a foot away from the edge of the rug. She leaves the newspaper there, and goes upstairs. When her husband enters the house a minute later, the newspaper is now positioned at the edge of the rug. See more »

Quotes

Lucy Stowell: [In reference to dimwitted black cook Creola] At least she can cook, which is more than you can say for most of them.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
With such an interesting plot idea, this should have been better....
23 April 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I noticed one of the reviewers complained about Warren William's tendency to over-act. Well, as a fan of the actor, I tend to agree--he DID over-act--and I generally liked his bigger than life and devil-may-care persona. That is why I decided to see "Wives Under Suspicion"--I'd watch just about anything starring this now forgotten star. Sadly, however, this was not one of his better films and it isn't surprising--by 1938, William had moved from his very successful career at Warner Brothers to Universal (a must less prestigious studio at that time) and the budgets were clearly smaller and it showed.

The film begins with William as a gung-ho District Attorney. He lives to prosecute and convict people--and his marriage and personal life have suffered. All he really cares about is winning--and sending as many people as he can to death row. However, when the case of a man who murdered his wife in a fit of anger (Ralph Morgan) is given to him, eventually the parallels between this case and his own sad life became apparent.

I think the biggest problem with this film is that the cast was amazingly limp. Morgan and William were very competent actors, but here they were NOT at their best. In particular, Morgan has a scene where he is supposed to cry but it comes off very poorly--embarrassingly so. In addition, while the story idea is good, the direction and dialog is all either limp or overdone. Director Whale (who made quite a name for himself directing the first two Frankenstein films at Universal) had clearly seen better days and the film failed to impress. It really should have been a lot better given the neat story idea.


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