Guilty by Suspicion

Drama | English | 105 minutes

Info

When David Merrill, a 1950s film director, returns to the United States from Paris, McCarthyism and the Red Scare is sweeping the country. David refuses to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). He denies being a Communist and refuses to give any information or names of innocent colleagues. David is shocked when he is  blacklisted from working on any films. At this time he must  decide whether to cooperate with the HUAC or do what he feels is right at the cost of losing his job and his livelihood.

Cast
Robert De Niro (David Merrill) / Annette Bening (Ruth Merrill) / George Wendt (Bunny Baxter) / Patricia Wettig (Dorothy Nolan) / Sam Wanamaker (Felix Graff)
Why Stream This Film?
HUAC was not satisfied if the accused,  a long time ago, belonged to the Communist Party or attended a Communist meeting. What the Committee wanted were names. And if the accused refused, they were blacklisted and not allowed to work.   Guilty by Suspicion is the riveting story of  how one man, a very courageous, decent man, faced this heartbreaking dilemma.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 65%
  • Metacritic Score: 64
Accolades
  • Cannes Film Festival: Nominated, Palme d’Or
  • London Critics Circle Film Awards: Winner, Newcomer of the Year (Annette Bening)
  • Political Film Society: Winner, Best Exposé
First writing-directing effort by Irwin Winkler squarely lays out the professional, ethical and moral dilemmas engendered by the insidious political pressures brought to bear on filmmakers in the early 1950s. Robert De Niro is excellent as a top director brought down by reactionary paranoia.
VARIETY staff

VARIETY

A stirring and tragic evocation of terrible times.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

GUILTY by SUSPICION teaches us a lesson we are always in danger of forgetting: that the greatest service we can do for our country is to be true to our conscience.
Roger Ebert

RogerEbert.com

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