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directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1947


For the best in stylish, upper-crust 40s murder mystery, there are really only two choices: Laura and The Unsuspected. The former has a reputation as a timeless classic; the latter is much, much darker and far more satisfying as a film noir, but remains underappreciated.


You won't find any of these things in The Unsuspected. What you have instead is the noir mastery of director Michael Curtiz and cinematographer Woody Bredell, who take aspects of the Laura plotline into new levels of intricacy and darkness, fueled by an almost lapidary sense of frame and scene construction. The camerawork and lighting in The Unsuspected, particularly in the studio scenes (inside the Croton mansion where most of the action takes place) is possibly the most sublimely sinister cinematography in the entire noir canon.


What we have here is the apex of noir style wedded to the glossy studio system approach. From a formalist perspective, The Unsuspected is unquestionably in the top ten of "best photographed noirs." That doesn't make it a great picture - it's merely very, very good - but it makes it one that will give lasting pleasure to those who respond to noir's unique visual allure.

Excerpt of review from Don Malcom (Noir of the Week) located HERE


Theatrical Release: 3 October 1947 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:42:52

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (2:57) - actually first minutes of the film

DVD Release Date: May 8th, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 11





Warner Home Video, unfortunately, didn't see fit to include this underrated film noir in one of their sets dedicated to this genre, but thankfully Warner Archive released this title in May 2009, first as Amazon exclusive and later added to the Warner Archive store.

The transfer has its share of specs, marks and scratches, but overall the contrast is good and sound is adequate. There are no subtitles or closed captioning and a short clip listed as theatrical trailer is actually the first 3 minutes of the film after the credits.

 - Gregory Meshman



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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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