Suspense is a 1946 film noir directed by Frank Tuttle. The ice-skating-themed movie starred Barry Sullivan and former Olympic skater Belita, who would team up again with Sullivan in 1947 for the film, The Gangster. It was also the last film appearance of actor Eugene Pallette. At a cost of 1.1 million dollars, it was considered the most expensive film put out by Monogram Pictures.
Frank Leonard (Albert Dekker), the proprietor of an ice-skating revue, promotes a strong-arming peanut-vendor named Joe Morgan (Barry Sullivan) at the show to a management position based on suggestions he makes to improve the act of the shows star, Roberta Elva (Belita), who also happens to be the owners wife.
However, he soon begins to notice that his new manager is paying more attention to his wife than he believes is appropriate, and begins to suspect that his new manager has designs not only on his wife but on his business. The plot thickens later when it appears that the man may have killed the owner.
Belita as Roberta Leonard, aka Roberta Elva
Barry Sullivan as Joe Morgan
Bonita Granville as Ronnie
Albert Dekker as Frank Leonard
Eugene Pallette as Harry Wheeler
George E. Stone as Max
Edit Angold as Nora
Leon Belasco as Pierre Yasha
When the film was first released, critic Bosley Crowther reviewed the film caustically, writing, "The Monogram people are so puffed up by the fact that their new film, Suspense, which came yesterday to the Victoria, is their first million-dollar release that we wonder why some boastful genius didnt give it the title Expense. At least, such a tag would betoken the little there is in this film and it wouldnt provoke expectation of something that isnt there. For, apart from some ice-skating numbers (which presumably coat all that coin), it has nothing to recommend it—let alone the thing of which the title speaks ... Frank Tuttle was the director from a script by Philip Yordan. Neither of their contributions is in the million-dollar class."
More recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz, panned the film in his review, writing, "Monograms most expensive film to date, produced by the King Brothers (Maurice and Frank) ... The heavy melodrama is suggestive of a nightmare. It is ruined by its leaden pace, lack of suspense, unpleasant characters, and unconvincing script. The film felt like a truck stuck on the ice, noisily moving back and forth to get some traction."