Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shadow of a Doubt

There are always those films from Hollywood's Golden Age that took the wholesome American image and turned it upside down. (Mind you, those were usually the ones that didn't fare so well at the box office.) But get the right actors and directors, and you've got a damn good film.

Need a good example? Try Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. It's a simple tale, really. It's only about the bond between a man and his adoring niece. Nothing too extraordinary. Oh, wait. There's the possibility that the uncle is a murderer. But again, nothing too extraordinary.

The man and niece are played by Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright, both fine actors of the 1940s. They have a close bond (they even share the same name, Charlie) and people notice. But once the niece finds out about her uncle's possible crimes, that bond slowly but surely starts to crumble.

The amusing thing of Shadow of a Doubt is who one of the writers was. The writer in question is Thornton Wilder, basically one of the last people you'd expect to write for a Hitchcock film. But it surprisingly works.

Shadow of a Doubt is one of Hitchcock's more underrated films. Why that is, I have no idea. After all, it contains Cotten's best work as an actor. That, and it's damn fantastic.

My Rating: *****


  1. I agree this is one of Hitch's most under-appreciated films, and god only knows why. Love it to death. And Cotten... damn. Dude kills it.

  2. I heard once that Hitch said this was his favorite of his movies. I totally see why. Its terrific.


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