Movie for the Evening: “Tension”
“Tension” begins with an instructive soliloquy by Lt. Collier Bonnabel, played by Barry Sullivan, on how homicide (a fancy word for murder, we are told) detectives game killers to bring them to justice. While playing with a rubber-band, Lt. Bonnabel shows how those persons who kill will, by the artful use of tension, snap.
Lt. Bonnabel is an artist of the game and Claire Guimby, played by Audrey Totter, falls for it in a dramatic finale.
Along the way the mousey pharmacist Warren Guimby, played by Richard Basehart, plans the murder of his wife’s lover. He ditching his glasses for contacts, renting an apartment under an assumed name, and prepares a prescription that will stop the heart of the man that cuckolded him.
The switch from glasses to contacts confounds the great detective minds, a device used successfully by Superman, but with the aid of a six foot poster of Warren Guimby’s alter ego the detectives are finally on his trail.
This preposterous film noir is really great fun with sincere performance by all the principle players and Cyd Charisse.