Under Suspicion (1981, France)

Original title: Garde à vue

family secretspolice investigationpsychological thrillerserial killer

Under Suspicion Garde à vue 1981 mystery movie

Running time: 85 minutes

Language: French

Jerome Martinaud, a wealthy, influential lawyer, is a witness in the two child murder cases - he was present near the first crime scene, and he found the body of the second victim. The police inspector Gallien asks him to come down to the station and answer some more questions. Martinaud is reluctant, especially since it is New Year’s Eve, and he already had plans, but finally agrees to take part. He begins to answer the same question once again, telling the policemen what he remembers, as he did several times before. But this time is slightly different - soon the polite conversation changes into thorough interrogation, and with each minute Martinaud seems to be losing the ground. Gallien begins to dive deeper and deeper into the personal life of his suspect and drags out things Martinaud is not comfortable talking about. Why the lawyer and his beautiful wife sleep in separate bedrooms? What happened between them to create the distance? Why is he reluctant to talk about his personal life? With each minute, it becomes more and more clear that Martinaud is here not as a witness any more, but as a suspect.

The movie based on the John Wainwright novel "Brainwash" (just like the later American version, starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman) and is a tensed character-based drama between investigators and their prime suspect, a seemingly innocent witness. Contrary to the American version, this one was kept in the much more claustrophobic style of a single room and has the more powerful ending (closer to the original text).

Do you like brain-teasers?

Our rating

8 / 10

Movie value

8 / 10

Realism factor

4 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Story complexity

4 / 5


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Under Suspicion 1981 mystery movie
Under Suspicion 1981 mystery movie

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Creators of Under Suspicion

Claude Miller films

Claude Miller


John Wainwright films


Claude Miller films


Jean Herman films


Michel Audiard films


Cast of Under Suspicion

Lino Ventura films

Lino Ventura

as Inspector Gallien

Michel Serrault films

Michel Serrault

as Jerome Martinaud

Romy Schneider films

Romy Schneider

as Chantal Martinaud

Guy Marchand films

Guy Marchand

as Inspector Belmont

Under Suspicion 1981 mystery movie
Under Suspicion 1981 mystery movie