Tension (1949)

90-91 or 95 mins | Film noir | 25 November 1949

Director:

John Berry

Writer:

Allen Rivkin

Producer:

Robert Sisk

Cinematographer:

Harry Stradling

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Leonid Vasian

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Corp.
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HISTORY

This film is introduced and intermittently narrated by "Lt. Collier Bonnabel," the character played by Barry Sullivan. An Oct 1948 HR news item notes that M-G-M purchased the rights to John Klorer's unpublished story as a starring vehicle for Robert Taylor and Van Heflin. A pre-production news item in HR indicates that Harry Antrim was cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Although HR production charts list George White as the film's editor, onscreen credits list Albert ... More Less

This film is introduced and intermittently narrated by "Lt. Collier Bonnabel," the character played by Barry Sullivan. An Oct 1948 HR news item notes that M-G-M purchased the rights to John Klorer's unpublished story as a starring vehicle for Robert Taylor and Van Heflin. A pre-production news item in HR indicates that Harry Antrim was cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Although HR production charts list George White as the film's editor, onscreen credits list Albert Akst. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Nov 1949.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jun 49
p. 11.
Daily Variety
17 Nov 49
p. 4.
Film Daily
18 Nov 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Nov 49
p. 90.
New York Times
12 Jan 50
p. 32.
Variety
23 Nov 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on the story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
MAKEUP
Hair styles des by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 November 1949
Production Date:
16 May--late June 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2651
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90-91 or 95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
13979
SYNOPSIS

Warren Quimby, a pharmacist and night manager at a twenty-four-hour drugstore in Los Angeles, is a devoted husband to his wife Claire, even after he finds evidence that she has been unfaithful to him. Claire, who is more interested in the gifts she receives from her mysterious male friends, than her marriage, shows little appreciation for the long hours Warren works to support her. When Warren finally saves enough money to buy a house in the suburbs, Claire announces that she will not to live outside the city. She eventually leaves Warren to live with her paramour, Barney Deager, who has impressed her with his new car. Refusing to accept Claire's desertion, Warren vows to fight to save his marriage, and goes to Deager's house in Malibu to attempt to win back Claire. Warren finds Claire on the beach with Deager, and when an argument ensues, Deager gives Warren a severe beating, and warns him never to return. Humiliated, Warren returns to his drugstore and tells his co-worker, Freddie, about the incident. When Freddie declares that he would have killed Deager had he been treated in such a manner, Warren takes Freddie's idea seriously and lays out a plan to kill the man who stole his wife. As part of his methodical plot, Warren exchanges his eyeglasses for contact lenses and creates a new look for himself. He then picks a new name for himself, Paul Sothern, and moves into a new apartment, where he plans to live during weekends. While moving some of his possessions into his the apartment, Warren meets Mary Chanler, a neighbor and an amateur photographer, who inadvertently takes a ... +


Warren Quimby, a pharmacist and night manager at a twenty-four-hour drugstore in Los Angeles, is a devoted husband to his wife Claire, even after he finds evidence that she has been unfaithful to him. Claire, who is more interested in the gifts she receives from her mysterious male friends, than her marriage, shows little appreciation for the long hours Warren works to support her. When Warren finally saves enough money to buy a house in the suburbs, Claire announces that she will not to live outside the city. She eventually leaves Warren to live with her paramour, Barney Deager, who has impressed her with his new car. Refusing to accept Claire's desertion, Warren vows to fight to save his marriage, and goes to Deager's house in Malibu to attempt to win back Claire. Warren finds Claire on the beach with Deager, and when an argument ensues, Deager gives Warren a severe beating, and warns him never to return. Humiliated, Warren returns to his drugstore and tells his co-worker, Freddie, about the incident. When Freddie declares that he would have killed Deager had he been treated in such a manner, Warren takes Freddie's idea seriously and lays out a plan to kill the man who stole his wife. As part of his methodical plot, Warren exchanges his eyeglasses for contact lenses and creates a new look for himself. He then picks a new name for himself, Paul Sothern, and moves into a new apartment, where he plans to live during weekends. While moving some of his possessions into his the apartment, Warren meets Mary Chanler, a neighbor and an amateur photographer, who inadvertently takes a picture of him. One day, Warren dials Deager's telephone number and, while speaking to Deager's valet, Narco, identifies himself as Paul Sothern and makes a vague threat against Deager. Though he devotes most of his time to placing evidence that will divert suspicion away from him as Deager's murderer, Warren begins a romance with Mary. After visiting Deager and pretending to make amends with him, Warren concludes that the time has come to kill him. He returns to the house one last time and finds Deager asleep in his living room. However, just as he is about to stab him, Warren realizes that his wife is not worth murdering for and gives up his plan. Warren then decides to continue his romance with Mary, but complications arise when Claire returns to Warren and tells him that Deager has been murdered. Warren orders Claire to leave, but their quarrel is interrupted by the arrival of police detectives Lt. Collier Bonnabel and Lt. Edgar Gonsales, who know that Claire left the murder scene before the police arrived. During the police interrogation, Claire suggests that both she and Warren were friends of Deager, thus making Warren as likely a suspect as she. After interrogating Narco and learning of the mysterious telephone call from a man named Paul Sothern, the detectives determine to find Paul. Bonnabel later fakes a romantic interest in Claire to get more information from her. Meanwhile, Mary, who has not seen the man she knows as Paul in some time, registers a missing person report at the police department and gives the police the picture she took of him. Bonnabel soon realizes that Paul and Warren are the same person, and after Claire identifies the man in Mary's picture as Warren, he arrests Warren and subjects him to a thorough interrogation. Bonnabel begins to doubt that Warren is the killer, and after releasing him for lack of evidence, he sets a trap for Claire. Bonnabel's plan succeeds when Claire goes to Warren's weekend apartment and tries to plant the gun that she used to kill Deager. Claire is arrested, leaving Warren free to resume his romance with Mary. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.