In his Pursuits of Happiness and Contesting Tears, the American philosopher Stanley Cavell defines skepticism and moral perfectionism as two cornerstones of his film theory which inaugurates two genres of early Hollywood talkies: the comedy of remarriage and the melodrama of unknowness. However, Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941) can (depending on our interpretation of its final scene) be seen as an intersection of the two genres, or two worlds that seem to be disparate. Further reading of the film reveals moral perfectionism as an indispensable element of talkies, a force that drives the main subject through the narrative, but it also shows that conclusions of comedies and melodramas are somewhat external to perfectionist problems. Indeed, as the present reading of Suspicion aims to show, moral perfectionism (i.e. the idea of improving one’s Self and achieving its integrity) can be seen as the cause of the main character’s curse, and not their way to freedom, as is the case in comedies or melodramas.
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