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  • It's a lively cast with a non-clichéd plot in a B-movie programmer. Just who are the two guys claiming to be investigators sent to safeguard an expensive necklace for a big jewelry firm. Whoever they are, they change names faster than clothes. The two start off as Northrup and Dale, but then switch handles, and that's just for starters. The only thing we know for sure is that Dale-Northrup (Cookson) has an eye for lovely secretary (Weaver), while Northrup-Dale (Ryan) alternates between low-humor and stern seriousness. Confusing—heck yes! So whoever or whatever they are, be sure to bring a scorecard.

    It's a good energetic cast, doing more than picking up a paycheck. Plus there's the aristocratic Frank (Watkin) in a nicely nuanced turn. But whatever you do, don't ask to see his aged mom (Blandick). She may make you rethink the whole idea of motherhood. Sure, the sets are few and spare, while the camera gets outdoors once, I think. But then this is Monogram, who really produced the 1940's equivalent of what would become TV programming.

    I'm glad TMC did a little tribute to director William "One Shot" Beaudine, who directed this feature. Sure, he never amounted to more than a studio contractor, grinding out these cheapos year after year in reliable fashion. As a helmsman, he may not have style or budget for embroidery, but give him a decent script and some willing players, and he could turn out an entertaining 60-minutes, as he does here.
  • gordonl5624 January 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    Shadow of Suspicion - 1944

    This is a brisk, if sometimes confusing programmer from bottom feeder studio, Monogram. Monogram, along with Producers Releasing Corporation were pretty well the end of the trail for actors on their way down. Drunks, has been actors and never will be types filled the ranks of the studio. Now, having said that, Monogram, did upon occasion turn out a decent film. This one is sort of in the middle, not great, but not a waste of time either. The just over an hour runtime helps.

    Private investigators Peter Cookson and Tim Ryan are sent to Chicago to keep an eye on some very expensive jewels. The New York head office suspects that something might be amiss at the Chicago end. The two men are undercover. At first the viewer thinks perhaps the pair, are really there to steal the jewels themselves.

    Cookson, a smart talker with the ladies, is soon mixed up with Marjorie Weaver, the assistant to Chicago store manager, Pierre Watkin. Watkin is the man Cookson and Rice are keeping an eye on. Anyways, Cookson and Rice spot Watkins replace the real jewels with some fakes. It turns out that Watkins is in cahoots with a diamond stealing mob run by his mother Clara Blandick.

    Cookson and Rice in turn steal the jewels from Watkins. This all leads to a couple of fist fights with the crooks, as well as a few guns being pulled. It takes a timely rescue by the Police to save the day for the heroes.

    The film would have been better served, if they had played the action straight up as a crime drama. The weak attempts at humour really do not add anything to the plot. It has its moments though, with Cookson showing he had some talent. Noir fans will know him from 1946's, FEAR with Warren Williams and Anne Gwynne.

    The director was long serving b helmsman, William "One Shot" Beaudine. He earned this moniker by never taking more than one take for a shot. Studios, such as Monogram, loved him as he used less film stock than other directors, thus helping their bottom line. The man worked from 1915 till 1968. Nobody is sure just how many films he directed. It could be anywhere from 350 to over 500.
  • jotix10015 July 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    Monogram Pictures produced a string of B type films during the 1940s. Some of them, like "Shadow of Suspicion" featured players from the studio which dealt mainly in low budget movies with a limited distribution, unlike the other Hollywood biggies. There were some players who became stars after having had their debuts as unknowns at Monogram.

    Peter Cockson worked in several features for the studio. He had all the qualities to carry a picture, as he does in this one. "Shadow of Suspicion" involves a two man team sent from New York to investigate a robbery at the company's Chicago branch. James Dale and his partner Everett Northrup have the task to uncover the mystery. James Dale falls for the cute Claire Winter, the secretary of the store, who is asked to transport a package for the devious manager of the jewelry branch.

    Directed by William Beaudine, the film was a typical Monogram Pictures product. Tim Ryan, who appears as Northrup also collaborated on the screenplay. Peter Cockson is James Dale, the man who solves the case. Marjorie Weaver appears as Claire Winer.
  • MartinHafer19 January 2015
    "Shadow of Suspicion" is a cheap B-movie from Monogram. A B-movie was originally intended as a second and lesser film during a double- feature. As a B, it has several traits you'd expect in such a film- -it's only about an hour long, has a cast of lesser known or unknown actors and was made with a minimal budget. The guys playing Northrup and Dale as well as the rest clearly are unknowns!

    The film begins with a guy coming into a jewelry store and attempting to trick them out of some expensive merchandise. But, before they can detect the larceny, he announces that he's been sent out by the head office to work with them on fraud detection. Is this actually the case or is the guy a crook? For much of the film, you have no idea if he or his partner are good guys or bad guys. And, oddly, by the end of the film you STILL aren't sure exactly who they are! But, the plot is engaging and is worth seeing if you are the sort that appreciates Bs.
  • Northrup (Tim Ryan) is theoretically guarding the big fancy Stonehaven necklace that's arriving at the local jewelry store. But it looks like he isn't really who he says he is, so the jewelry company is keeping an eye on him... it's a jewelry heist caper! and Claire (Marjorie Weaver) is the secretary who gets caught up in all the goings on. Lots of verbal gags and close calls to keep it light. and a few surprises in here, just to keep us on our toes. Gotta pay attention ! Some fun stuff in this one. I'm really surprised that its only rated a "6" on imdb so far. I liked it! Similar to another film, but I won't say which one... don't want to give anything away ! Directed by William Beaudine, who had started in the early, early days of silent films. Good stuff. Showing on Epix Channel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Fast paced and unexpectedly funny. A pleasant surprise after having recently watched "The Wall" and "The Fix", two dark noir dramas of the forties.

    Synopsis has already been supplied by better writers than I am, so I'll just say this one checks all the boxes for a B Movie fan.

    Directed by William Beaudine, produced by Monogram and shot in a sparse but entertaining style with attractive leads and interesting character actors. Many of these "unknowns" had long careers in the industry.B movie gold.

    Clara Blandick,as Mother Randall,for instance, is best known as Auntie Em in the Wizard Of Oz.

    She also delivers the best line in the entire movie to Jim Dale the leading man played by Peter Cookson: "I think you're a dick!"

    Monogram delivers the best with the least with this one.

    Even flubbed lines are kept in the final cut, such was the style of William "One Take" Beaudine.

    Frank J Randall played by Pierre Watkin, on the arrival of the necklace: "The jewels are here the express is coming." Rather than the reverse "The express is here, the jewels are coming." You can tell it throws off Edward G Northrup portrayed by Tim Ryan but he keeps the scene going.

    I always find the Bs more creative with tiny budgets and quick shooting schedules and a roster of actors on the way up and on the way down still chasing that Hollywood Dream.

    Also recognizable in an uncredited role is Cyril Delevanti, one of the jewelry store employees and recognizable from several Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes as well as Thriller and One Step Beyond. Another "unknown" with a long career and part of the pleasure of watching these lost gems.

    Harmless and entertaining.