Suspense (1946)

Suspense poster

Monogram Pictures
Starring:
 Barry Sullivan, Belita, Albert Dekker
Directed by: Frank Tuttle

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Joe Morgan (Barry Sullivan) falls for Roberta (Belita), the star of an ice skating show, which brings consequences since she is the wife of his boss, the theater’s proprietor.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): The boss, whose name is Frank Leonard (Albert Dekker), owns a black cat who appears to live in the office of the ice theater and whose name is never mentioned. Frank is holding the cat when Joe is first introduced to him and his assistant Harry (Eugene Pallette).

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan and Harry Eugene Pallette

Suspense - close up of Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat

Frank pets the cat and rubs its front paw as if it gives him comfort or good luck.

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan and Harry Eugene Pallette

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat

Joe is given a job as a peanut vendor but soon works his way up. Frank offers him a better position which Joe eventually accepts for more money than originally offered. The cat watches the beginning of this exchange from the inbox on the desk. Frank then picks the cat up.

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker with Joe Barry Sullivan and black cat in box on desk

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan

Joe offers to shake hands but Frank, who is holding the cat, says, “I never shake hands. It’s unsanitary.” He then says he is joking and gives Joe the desk in the office where the cat is usually seen.

Suspense - over shoulder shot of Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat

Suspense - over shoulder shot of Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan

Frank sets the cat down in the inbox on the desk and then exits. Joe raises his hand as if he will strike the cat and snarls, “Aw, get outta here! You’re unsanitary!” The cat scurries away.

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker holding black cat over desk with Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - Frank Leonard Albert Dekker sets black cat down in box on desk with Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - black cat on desk with Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - black cat with Joe Barry Sullivan raising hand to strike

Much later in the film Joe is working in the office with Harry close by. The cat is sitting in the inbox on the desk.

Suspense - black cat in box on desk with Joe Barry Sullivan and Harry Eugene Pallette

Suspense - black cat in box on desk with Joe Barry Sullivan and Harry Eugene Pallette walking away

When Harry exits he pets the cat briefly while passing the desk. The cat is still sitting in the box when Joe has an unexpected visitor.

Suspense - black cat in box on desk with Joe Barry Sullivan

Roberta hears a noise like a struggle coming from Joe’s office. When she investigates, Joe is closing his rolling desk to hide something. He eventually gets Roberta to leave and then hears a scratching from inside the desk. In a tense moment he goes to open the desk and the cat jumps out with a screech in a classic spring-loaded cat moment.

Suspense - black cat springing out of roll up desk startling Joe Barry Sullivan

Suspense - black cat springing out of roll up desk startling Joe Barry Sullivan animated gif

Final Mewsings: Hopefully the cat knew the difference between an inbox and a litter box.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.