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Television Reviews : ‘Suspicion’ Remake Is Slow, Short on Suspense

There is too little suspense in “Suspicion,” tonight’s “American Playhouse” version of the 1941 Alfred Hitchcock movie about an unworldly, unglamorous American woman who is overcome by fear and paranoia about her suave English husband. It airs at 9 p.m. on Channels 28 and 15.

Jane Curtin and Anthony Andrews give adequate performances as the odd couple, recreating roles made by famous by Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant as the initially dowdy and naive Lina McLaidlaw and her charming rogue of a husband, Johnnie Aysgarth.

Their whirlwind courtship leads to a quickie marriage that is blissful at first but quickly turns into a horror story for poor Lina, who discovers that her elegant, high-living husband is not only penniless, but also somewhat shady and corrupt. Worse still, she suspects him of murdering his harmless friend Beaky (Jonathan Lynn) and of plotting her murder as well.

A small plot flaw surfaces here that makes it hard for us to get caught up in Lina’s torment. She is indeed an heiress of sorts, but is limited to a small allowance while her mother lives. So what would Johnnie have to gain by killing her now?

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Adapted for television by Jonathan Lynn and producer Barry Levinson, “Suspicion” is handsomely mounted, but directed at too slow a pace by Andrew Grieve, leading to an abruptly soupy and syrupy ending that fails to satisfy.


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