Guilty by Suspicion (1991)

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Movie Info

The directorial debut of producer Irwin Winkler, Guilty by Suspicion is a sobering account of one movie executive's woes in dealing with the political fallout from the McCarthy Era Hollywood blacklist. Robert De Niro stars as David Merrill, a film director in the 1950s whose obsession with his burgeoning career has estranged him from his wife Ruth (Annette Bening) and their son. When he returns from a trip to Paris, Merrill is surprised when told by his boss, Darryl F. Zanuck (Ben Piazza) that he's been summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which is investigating Communist ties to Hollywood. Although Merrill once attended a meeting years before, he's not a Communist, and he refuses to help the committee wreck the career of his friend Bunny Baxter (George Wendt). Merrill becomes blacklisted, unable to find work even in menial positions or under assumed names as the editor of a B-movie or the director of a low-budget Western. Reconciled with his family, Merrill caves in and agrees to testify, but as he prepares to "name names," his conscience plagues him.
Rating: PG13 (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Irwin Winkler
Written By: Irwin Winkler
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Warner Home Video

Cast

Robert De Niro
as David Merrill
Annette Bening
as Ruth Merrill
Luke Edwards
as Paulie Merrill
Ben Piazza
as Darryl Zanuck
Barry Primus
as Bert Alan
Gailard Sartain
as Chairman Wood
Robin Gammell
as Congressman Tavenner
Brad Sullivan
as Congressman Velde
Tom Sizemore
as Ray Karlin
Roxann Biggs
as Felicia Barron
Stuart Margolin
as Abe Barron
Barry Tubb
as Jerry Cooper
Gene Kirkwood
as Gene Woods
Margo Winkler
as Leta Rosen
Allan Rich
as Leonard Marks
Al Ruscio
as Ben Saltman
Bill Bailey
as Fox Guard
Adam Baldwin
as FBI Man
Nicholas Cilic
as Matt Nolan
Claude Rauvier
as Claude Rowan
Stephen Root
as RKO Guard
John Horn
as Mike Rainey
Jon Tenney
as Man Shopper
Cecile Callan
as Wife Shopper
Tom Rosqui
as Norman
Monica Carrico
as Nelly Lesser
F.J. O'Neil
as Ad Agency Executive
Joan Scott
as Teacher
Paul Collins
as Bernard
James Mathers
as Director
Kevin Page
as 2nd FBI Man
Joe Bennett
as Choreographer
Robert Chimento
as Assistant Director
Craig Smith
as Director of Photography
Maurice Marciano
as Costume Designer
Ben Dinsdale
as Maurice
Russell Bobbitt
as Propmaster
Cindy Carey
as Party Guest
Ivor Leslie Dilley
as 1st Assistant Director
Natalie Zimmerman
as Woman on Buckboard
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News & Interviews for Guilty by Suspicion

Critic Reviews for Guilty by Suspicion

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (8)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 28, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

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Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Guilty by Suspicion

Interesting drama of a dark, shameful period of America's history, the McCarthy blacklist, and the toll it took on decent people. Uniformally excellent performances. It would be nice to think the venality of the committee members was a dramatic exaggeration but sadly it was all to real.

jay nixon
jay nixon

De Niro gives his best if most underrated performance. The film however never quite reaches the true levels of paranoia you would expect. It does however show these events happening to very real characters. It's certainly an emotional journey as we see their lives fall apart. Unfortunately it is slightly over melodramatic in its presentation.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

I got lost and distracted many times during this film, but the last half an hour, seemed to hold my attention. I wasn't aware of the 'Blacklist era' or the story behind it, but I'm sure both Robert De Niro and Annette Benning's performances will have served the story well

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

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