TENSION

 
Warren Quimby (Richard Basehart), a quiet, mild-mannered druggist, upon learning that his wife Claire (Audrey Totter) intends to leave him, begins to create a second identity to serve as an alibi when he kills his wife and her lover. Using this new identity, he meets and falls in love with Mary (Cyd Charisse) who gives him reason for not going through with his plans. However, when he visits the beach house where his wife and her lover Barney (Lloyd Gough) were staying, he finds that Barney has been murdered. Warren is now the chief suspect in the case and must prove his innocence. Tension is a taut thriller developed with noir motifs and style. Audrey Totter playing Claire, is the classic femme-fatale, cynical and cold, leading men to their doom. Warren is the weak man trapped in a pointless world. Director John Berry has filled the film with low-key images and well-developed characters: Warren's desperation leaves him no room for salvation, and his obsession with his wife's infidelity pushes him over the edge of reason. -- Linda Rasmussen, All Movie Guide

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