Unsuspected, The (1947): Michael Curtiz Mystery Film Noir, Starring Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield as Matilda Frazier, Grandison’s ward Claude Rains, Hoan Caulfield, Audrey Totter, Constance Bennett

The versatile director Michael Curtiz helmed The Unsuspected, a mystery film noir, starring Claude Rains, Audrey Totter, Ted North, Constance Bennett, and Joan Caulfield.

The Unsuspected
The Unsuspected film poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Based on a novel by Charlotte Armstrong, the script was co-written by Bess Meredyth, who was married to Curtiz.

The film begins in Victor Grandison’s suburban New York home. A shadowy figure murders his secretary, Roslyn Wright, then leaves her body hanging from a chandelier; the case is reported as suicide.

His niece Althea throws a surprise birthday party for Victor, hoping it will take his mind off the loss of his secretary and his wealthy ward, Matilda, who presumably perished some weeks earlier.

Joan Caulfield as Matilda Frazier, Grandison’s ward
Claude Rains as Victor Grandison
Audrey Totter as Althea Keane, Grandison’s niece
Constance Bennett as Jane Moynihan
Hurd Hatfield as Oliver Keane
Ted North as Steven Howard (billed as Michael North)
Fred Clark as Police Detective Richard Donovan
Harry Lewis as Max
Jack Lambert as Press
Nana Bryant as Mrs. White
Walter Baldwin as Judge Maynard
Ray Walker as Donovan’s Assistant
Barbara Woodell (uncredited) as Roslyn Wright


Directed by Michael Curtiz
Screenplay by Ranald MacDougall, Bess Meredyth (adaptation, based on The Unsuspected, 1946 novel by Charlotte Armstrong
Produced by Curtiz, Charles Hoffman

Cinematography Woody Bredell
Edited by Fredrick Richards
Music by Franz Waxman

Production company: Michael Curtiz Productions

Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: October 3, 1947

Running time: 103 minutes

Box office $2 million (US/Canada rentals)