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Tension (1949)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1949 (USA)
A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director:

John Berry

Writers:

Allen Rivkin (screenplay), John D. Klorer (based on the story by) (as John Klorer)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Basehart ... Warren Quimby
Audrey Totter ... Claire Quimby
Cyd Charisse ... Mary Chanler
Barry Sullivan ... Police Lt. Collier Bonnabel
Lloyd Gough ... Barney Deager
Tom D'Andrea ... Freddie
William Conrad ... Police Lt. Edgar Gonsales
Tito Renaldo Tito Renaldo ... Narco
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Storyline

A mousy drugstore manager turns killer after his conniving wife leaves him for another man. He devises a complex plan, which involves assuming a new identity, to make it look like someone else murdered her new boyfriend. Things take an unexpected turn when someone else commits the murder first and he becomes the prime suspect. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hard-hitting story of a man with a plan...REVENGE! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tension See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$682,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Portions of Andr√© Previn's music score were recycled as title theme for same studio's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). See more »

Goofs

Exterior of the street outside drugstore (shot on actual location) do not match with views of same street as seen through window of drugstore interior (a set). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. Collier Bonnabel: I'm Collier Bonnabel. I'm a cop. I'm a Lieutenant Detective in, uh, Homicide. That's a fancy name for murder. We get plenty of tough cases. Solve most of 'em, sure. But how?
[begins to stretch and relax a rubber band]
Lt. Collier Bonnabel: I only know one way, one thing that breaks 'em wide open - tension. I work on people, on suspects. Play up to them. Play up to their strengths, pour it on their weaknesses. Romance 'em or ignore 'em. Kiss 'em. Press 'em. But whatever way, keep stretching them.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An intense suspenseful murder yarn
21 January 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Though there are a few ridiculous elements to the story, standout performances, good direction and fine camera work make this one a winner. The epitome of a slut/bitch is found in the character of Claire Quimby with all the blank spots filled in by what should have been an award-winning portrayal by Audrey Totter. Almost matching her is Richard Basehart as her doting husband Warren Quimby and his alter ego Paul Sothern. It's also fun to see the talented Tom D'Andrea (the beloved Gillis in "The Life of Riley") as an "I told you so" employee friend Freddie and William Conrad ("Cannon" and radio's Marshal Dillon)as Police Lt. Edgar 'Blackie' Gonsales. Both add a degree of humor and lightness needed for a movie filled with tension.

Take away the sappy Clark Kent glasses incognito and the not only unorthodox but also highly unethical, maybe downright illegal even in 1950, method used by Police Lt. Collier Bonnabel (Barry Sullivan) to trap Claire Quimby and you have a truly intense suspenseful murder flick in the film noir tradition.


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