Wives under Suspicion

Overview

James Whale's Wives Under Suspicion is remake of Whale's own 1933 production A Kiss Before the Mirror, with a few noticeable concessions for the more militant censors of 1938. District attorney Jim Stowell (Warren William) is convinced that every murder should be sentenced to the electric chair, regardless of motive or circumstances. He remains steadfast in this belief as he prosecutes an elderly professor (Ralph Morgan) for murdering his wife in a fit of jealous rage. But while relaxing at home one evening in ...
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Overview

James Whale's Wives Under Suspicion is remake of Whale's own 1933 production A Kiss Before the Mirror, with a few noticeable concessions for the more militant censors of 1938. District attorney Jim Stowell (Warren William) is convinced that every murder should be sentenced to the electric chair, regardless of motive or circumstances. He remains steadfast in this belief as he prosecutes an elderly professor (Ralph Morgan) for murdering his wife in a fit of jealous rage. But while relaxing at home one evening in the company of his lovely but somewhat neglected young wife Lucy (Gail Patrick), Stowell's own jealousy is aroused by Lucy's response to the innocent attentions of young family friend Phil (William Lundigan). As the days pass, Stowell cannot suppress his own urge to kill his wife and her supposed lover. An eleventh-hour plot twist prevents him from making the same mistake as the old professor-and also gives him a new perspective on the quality of mercy.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although Wives Under Suspicion has the kind of set-up that modern audiences frequently find contrived, it still is a satisfying courtroom drama. That set-up -- that a district attorney renowned for zealously prosecuting murderers and seeking the ultimate penalty for them no matter what the circumstances should find himself sorely tempted to commit murder himself -- is innately dramatic (or melodramatic,. Depending upon one's view), and if one can get past its artificialty, Wives offers a very decent cinematic experience. Credit goes to director James Whale, here remaking his own A Kiss Before the Mirror, but with a different cast and on a much smaller budget. Indeed, Wives is a "B" picture, but one wouldn't know it from the care and attention that Whale gives it. An expressionistic opening lets the viewer know that Whale is going to do his best with the budget at hand, and he keeps the film visually interesting throughout. His cast is not ideal. In the lead, Warren William pushes too hard and could benefit from more shading and subtlety. Gail Patrick is gorgeous but rather dull, with William Lundigan also unimpressive, but Ralph Morgan does well. Modern viewers should also be warned that the black maid is treated in a stereotypical fashion, with one comment by Patrick's character especially offensive to modern sensibilities.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/27/2007
  • UPC: 089218529398
  • Original Release: 1938
  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:08:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 50,811

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren William District Atty. Jim Stowell
Gail Patrick Lucy Stowell
William Lundigan Phil
Constance Moore Elizabeth
Ralph Morgan Prof. Shaw McAllen
Cecil Cunningham Sharpy
Jonathan Hale Dan Allison
Samuel S. Hinds Dave Marrow
Lillian Yarbo Creola
Milburn Stone Kirk
James Flavin Jenks
Edwin Stanley The Judge
Charles Anthony Hughes Murphy
David Oliver
Minerva Urecal
Technical Credits
James Whale Director
Myles Connolly Screenwriter
Ladislas Fodor Original Story
Edmund Grainger Producer
Charles Maynard Editor
Jack Otterson Art Director
Charles Previn Musical Direction/Supervision
George Robinson Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wives Under Suspicion
2. Chapter 1 [10:56]
3. Chapter 2 [12:20]
4. Chapter 3 [13:04]
5. Chapter 4 [11:41]
6. Chapter 5 [10:29]
7. Chapter 6 [8:40]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Wives Under Suspicion
   Play
   Chapter Index
   Catalog
      Action/Adventure
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