Guilty By Suspicion (1991)

This a Covid-19 2020 minireview!

“…I inform on these people, they lose their jobs, they lose their… everything. ” – David Merrill

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Theater in ’91 and 5 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A Hollywood director gets mixed up in the politics of the early 1950’s when he is accused of being a Communist by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Bottom Line – Great premise that doesn’t work due to the way that things are presented. De Niro is a great actor and manages to make us sympathize with his character, but overall, the story just isn’t as powerful or poignant as one might expect. The film does a nice job of showing the fear and suspicions that powerful Hollywood figures needed to deal with at the time and we see the various ways that different people dealt with these accusations which were mostly inaccurate.  The supporting cats is also great with Bening and Goodman especially standing out among the rest.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Blacklisted Writer and Director Abraham Polonsky wrote the original screenplay for the film. When Irwin Winkler decided to re-write the script by changing De Niro’s character from a Communist to a more generic Liberal, Polonsky had his name removed from the film’s credits. “I wanted it to be about Communists, because that’s the way it really happened. They didn’t need another story about a man who was falsely accused”, he said in an interview in the New York Times. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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