Wives Under Suspicion (1938)

68 or 75 mins | Drama | 3 June 1938

Director:

James Whale

Writer:

Myles Connolly

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Editor:

Charles Maynard

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
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HISTORY

Wives Under Suspicion , originally called Suspicion , was a remake of the 1933 Universal film The Kiss Before the Mirror (see above), which was also directed by James Whale. According to modern sources, Wives Under Suspicion began shooting on a $250,000 budget. It was completed four days ahead of schedule and $30,000 under budget. Modern sources list Fred Frank as assistant director and credit Jack Pierce with ...

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Wives Under Suspicion , originally called Suspicion , was a remake of the 1933 Universal film The Kiss Before the Mirror (see above), which was also directed by James Whale. According to modern sources, Wives Under Suspicion began shooting on a $250,000 budget. It was completed four days ahead of schedule and $30,000 under budget. Modern sources list Fred Frank as assistant director and credit Jack Pierce with make-up.

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Jun 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jun 38
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 38
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 38
pp. 10-11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 38
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 38
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Jun 38
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
21 May 38
p. 37.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Jun 38
p. 38.
New York Times
1 Jul 38
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A James Whale Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the play Der Kuss Vor Dem Spiegel by Ladislaus Fodor (Vienna, Sept 1932).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Suspicion
Release Date:
3 June 1938
Production Date:
13971
Copyright Info
Claimant
DATE
CopyrightNumber
Universal Pictures Co.
4 June 1938
LP8066
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68 or 75
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4245
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As Joseph Pattison is sentenced, he warns District Attorney Jim Stowell of retribution. After Pattison is publicly executed, Jim counts the eleven executions he has prosecuted on an abacus made with miniature skulls, reckoning that he has twenty-four more to go. Soon after the Tatler publishes rumors of an affair between Jim's wife Lucy and a graduate student, Phil, "Sharpy," Jim's secretary, reminds him of his wife's birthday. As the Stowells leave home for a dinner celebration, Jim is shot by an associate of Pattison, but in the hospital, the bullet proves only to have grazed Jim, and Dan, his press aide, regards the incident as a publicity triumph. Jim, who has neglected his wife for his work, decides to take a long-delayed honeymoon. After returning to his office, he finds Kirk, his aide, roughly interrogating Professor Shaw MacAllen. Jim takes MacAllen aside and apparently tries to console him, convincing him to confess to murdering his unfaithful wife. Jim then abruptly excuses MacAllen, because he secretly had recorded the confession, and takes a copy of the recording to add to his collection. MacAllen's wealthy relatives hire distinguished lawyer David Morrow for the defense, but Jim is determined to demand the death sentence for MacAllen, because he does not believe in the concept of a "crime of passion." During the summertime trial that attracts national attention, Jim requests that Lucy stop seeing Phil, as he is head of a student committee supporting MacAllen. One evening during the trial, Jim returns home, and he and Lucy unconsciously re-enact "the kiss before the mirror," as MacAllen's confession has been labeled by the ...

More Less

As Joseph Pattison is sentenced, he warns District Attorney Jim Stowell of retribution. After Pattison is publicly executed, Jim counts the eleven executions he has prosecuted on an abacus made with miniature skulls, reckoning that he has twenty-four more to go. Soon after the Tatler publishes rumors of an affair between Jim's wife Lucy and a graduate student, Phil, "Sharpy," Jim's secretary, reminds him of his wife's birthday. As the Stowells leave home for a dinner celebration, Jim is shot by an associate of Pattison, but in the hospital, the bullet proves only to have grazed Jim, and Dan, his press aide, regards the incident as a publicity triumph. Jim, who has neglected his wife for his work, decides to take a long-delayed honeymoon. After returning to his office, he finds Kirk, his aide, roughly interrogating Professor Shaw MacAllen. Jim takes MacAllen aside and apparently tries to console him, convincing him to confess to murdering his unfaithful wife. Jim then abruptly excuses MacAllen, because he secretly had recorded the confession, and takes a copy of the recording to add to his collection. MacAllen's wealthy relatives hire distinguished lawyer David Morrow for the defense, but Jim is determined to demand the death sentence for MacAllen, because he does not believe in the concept of a "crime of passion." During the summertime trial that attracts national attention, Jim requests that Lucy stop seeing Phil, as he is head of a student committee supporting MacAllen. One evening during the trial, Jim returns home, and he and Lucy unconsciously re-enact "the kiss before the mirror," as MacAllen's confession has been labeled by the press. Jim listens again to the recording of MacAllen, then follows Lucy to Phil's home. He is about to shoot the couple when he realizes how his ruthless ways have almost caused him to murder the one he loves. The next day, Jim, still dazed, announces that the prosecution will lower the charges against MacAllen to second degree murder. Jim then asks Lucy, who is leaving, to forgive him and start anew. At that moment, Phil and Elizabeth, his girl friend, dash in and announce that they have just been married, with help from Lucy. Although reporters suspect Jim has been bribed, he is not concerned, and informs Dan that he is leaving on a vacation with Lucy. He then tells Sharpy to smash the abacus.

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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.