Guilty by Suspicion

Guilty by Suspicion is a 1991 American drama film about the Hollywood blacklist, McCarthyism, and the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Written and directed by Irwin Winkler, it starred Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, and George Wendt.

Guilty by Suspicion
Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed byIrwin Winkler
Produced byArnon Milchan
Written byIrwin Winkler
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyMichael Ballhaus
Edited byPriscilla Nedd-Friendly
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • March 15, 1991 (1991-03-15)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$16 million
Box office$9.48 million

The film was entered into the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Plot summary

David Merrill, a director in 1950s Hollywood, returns from abroad to find that a rising tide of McCarthyism and the Red Scare has led to his not being allowed to work in films. He will only be allowed to direct once he implicates colleagues as Communist agents. He must decide whether to turn informant, or to stick to principle at the cost of his life's work.



The film opened to good reviews and earned praise for Robert De Niro's performance. Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars and wrote that the film "teaches a lesson we are always in danger of forgetting: that the greatest service we can do our country is to be true to our conscience."[2]


  1. "Festival de Cannes: Guilty by Suspicion". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  2. "Guilty By Suspicion". Chicago Sun-Times. The Chicago Sun-Times. 1991-03-15. Retrieved 2013-10-22.

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