Suspense is a 1913 American silent short film thriller directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley. Weber also wrote the scenario and stars in the film with Valentine Paul. The film features early examples of a split screen shot and a car chase.
A servant leaves a new mother with only a written letter of notice, placing her key under the doormat as she leaves. Her exit attracts the attention of a tramp to the house. As the husband has previously phoned that he is working late, the wife decides not to ring back when she finds the note but does ring back when she sees the tramp. Her husband listens, horrified, as she documents the break-in and then the tramp cuts the line. The husband steals a car and is immediately pursued by the car’s owner and the police, who nearly but don’t quite manage to jump into the stolen car during a high-speed chase. The husband manages to gain a lead over the police but then accidentally strikes a man smoking in the road and checks to see that he is okay. Meanwhile, the tramp is breaking into the room where the wife has locked herself and her baby, violently thrusting himself through the wood door, carrying a large knife. At that moment the husband arrives, pursued by the police. As the husband runs towards the home, the police fire warning shots into the air, panicking the hobo. He runs down the stairs, to be met by the husband at the front door. After a short struggle, he overpowers the hobo, who is then grabbed by the police. The husband runs upstairs, everything is explained, and all is forgiven as the couple embrace.