The old master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made Suspicion for RKO in 1941. Joan Fontaine, who had been so successful in Hitchcock's previous Rebecca, gave a performance in this one that won her an Academy award. Other principals were Cary Grant and Dame May Whitty.
Lillian Hellman's bitter and sardonic play of greed, The Little Foxes, was also transferred successfully to the screen in 1941, by Samuel Goldwyn. It was directed by William Wyler, and acted up to the hilt by Bette Davis, Patricia Collinge (repeating her stage performance), and Herbert Marshall.
Another important 1941 production was Twentieth Century-Fox's screen version of Richard Llewellyn's novel, How Green Was My Valley, a story of a Welsh mining town. John Ford did his usual firstrate job of directing, and Walter Pidgeon and Roddy McDowall, heading a large cast, turned in memorable performances. The sets were realistic and substantial. If you happened to see the film version of John Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down, early in 1943, you saw the same set, mine and all, plus a dash of snow, transferred bodily to Norway.
Metro's production of Mrs. Miniver, derived from Jan Struther's sketches of middle-class English life during the war. William Wyler, who has done good pictures for virtually all the studios, was the director. The cast included Teresa Wright, and Walter Pidgeon and Greer Garson as Mr. and Mrs. Miniver. Miss Garson's acting won her the Academy award for the best performance of the year.