Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Charlotte 'Charlie' Newton is bored with her quiet life at home with her parents and her younger sister. She wishes something exciting would happen and knows exactly what they need: a visit from her sophisticated and much traveled uncle Charlie Oakley, her mother's younger brother. Imagine her… Runtime: 108 min Release Date: 15 Jan 1943
Uncle Charlie did it for me. I mistrusted the uncle thing as a term of endearment ever since. Joseph Cotten is the perfect charming monster. Uncle Charlie's urbanity becomes his most frightening feature. So plausible. So real. Thornton Wilder was Hitchcock's partner in crime this time and it shows. The structure is Our Townish, the characters, deliciously rich. Patricia Collinge's performance is so spot on that you're longing for more. The scenes between Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn are how I imagine the story meetings between Thornton Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. Teresa <more>
Wright's eyes tell the whole story from the audience's point of view, even if the audience is one step ahead of her. Brilliant, because in Joseph Cotten's eyes we find his need for redemption or are we falling in the trap of this master manipulator? We are torn, just like Teresa Wright. I've seen "Shadow of a Doubt" 3 or 4 times but every time you're forced to take the trip with the same amount of commitment. I've been toying with the thought of a remake, I've been doing this lately, although I hate the idea of remakes of great movies, this one is one of those that in the right hands could have a real impact. Using Thornton Wilder's original script as the Bible, Steven Sodebergh could do scrumptious remake for the new millennium. Tim Robbins as uncle Charlie, can you imagine? Natalie Portman as his niece. Joan Cusak and William H Macy as her parents. Wouldn't you go to see that?
One of his very best - I've loved it since I was a child! (by MovieAddict2016)
"Shadow of a Doubt" may only be listed as #181 on IMDb's "Top 250" list, but in my opinion it far outweighs some of the films higher up on that list and is one of Hitch's very best films.Joseph Cotten plays Charlie, a crook on the run from the police. Left stranded and pursued, he decides to move in with his brother's family. His niece - who loves him and sees him as a sort of perfect role model - at first is excited that her Uncle Charlie is coming...but then things start to get strange. Charlie acts oddly and, at times, violent. She begins to become <more>
suspicious of her uncle as he becomes more suspicious of her own awareness.The ending of "Shadow of a Doubt" is classic Hitchcock and some of the best stuff he's done. The entire film is taut and suspenseful, well-filmed and realistic. It manages to focus on family ties and the struggles within the family itself while it also juggles the whole theme of an outcast family member.In the end, however, it's just a nail-biting thriller that - now over sixty years old - still reigns as one of the absolute best of its genre.
Dark and brooding thriller from the master of suspense (by The_Void)
It is well known that this film is Alfred Hitchcock's favourite of his own oeuvre, and it's a big favourite of mine also. It is also well documented that for this film, Hitchcock stated that he "wants to bring violence back into the home, where it belongs" and he has certainly succeeded at doing that. Hitchcock spends much of the early screen time building up the family at the centre of the tale, and then allowing the violence to come to them, which shows Hitchcock's mastery of the medium as showing the story develop in this way makes the tale much more frightening than <more>
if we hadn't got to know the family at the centre of the story first. Joseph Cotten stars as uncle Charlie; a man fleeing Philadelphia to escape the law after marrying and then murdering several rich widows. He goes to stay with his sister and her family, which includes a husband, two young children and the eldest daughter; his niece and namesake; also called 'Charlie'.Hitchcock puts the focus of the story on young Charlie and her relationship with her uncle. This gives the story a frightening angle as it follows the classic tale of the strange uncle. It's also well done as young Charlie is shown to be the sweetest of characters, and when the dark uncle Charlie enters the fray, her sweet world is infected by nightmares, which also gives way to elements of the classic 'coming of age' tale to enter the proceedings. As if that wasn't enough, Shadow of a Doubt also exposes the trust we put in our loved ones, and how any person is likely to try and shift the blame, or ignore it completely, if their loved one has done wrong. This is shown by the way that young Charlie still attempts to cover for her beloved uncle even when all the evidence is pointing to him being guilty. Hitchcock has turned this thriller, which could easily have been routine, into a complex study of a family that retains it's interest throughout due to the multiple themes on display.Joseph Cotten was the absolute perfect choice to play uncle Charlie. His portrayal is picture perfect; he carries with him an atmosphere of dread and morbidity throughout, even when he's not doing anything wrong. A role of this sort is difficult to get right, as it's all to easy to underplay it so it isn't effective, or to overstate it so it becomes ridiculous; but Cotten gets the performance spot on. Teresa Wright, who stars alongside Cotten in the role of the other Charlie also does well and delivers a mature and assured performance that fits her character brilliantly. Some of the supporting roles look a little suspect at times, but on the whole the acting from the support is good enough.The ending of the film comes somewhat against the run of play and is maybe a little bit too over the top after the rest of the film, which is largely down to earth. However, it does work and a big ending isn't something I am in the habit of complaining about. This is up there with Hitchcock's best work and therefore is highly recommended.
Not the standard Hitchcock stuff * MILD SPOILER* (by mstomaso)
Shadow of a Doubt is classified as a Film Noir thriller. While I can see elements of film noir and elements of the thriller genre in this film, I think this film is more of a character study. It's a story about what happens when a soul-mate turns out to be somebody unexpected.The cast is excellent, and the lead characters - played by Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright - are very well imagined, written and portrayed. Both characters called for sweeping and dramatic personality changes which Wright and Cotten pulled off convincingly. Wright plays a very young woman 19-ish living with her <more>
family and sort of depressed and aimless, while Cotten is her namesake and favorite uncle, Charlie. Uncle Charlie has come to visit and brought good cheer to the entire family, but shortly after his arrival, young Charlie begins to discover that Uncle Charlie has some sinister secrets. As the clues begin to add up to a coherent conclusion, Wright's character is forced to decide what to do about her growing, troublesome, understanding.In typical Hitchcockian fashion, the film toys with its audience for the first 3/4ths and does not reveal itself until its almost too late - playing on paranoia, misleading and ambiguous dialog, and terrific acting to create equivocation. However, as you will see, this is not the standard Hitchcock stuff - in the end it has more to do with the characters and what they do than the action and resolution of the ingenious plot.The Hitch' blows me away almost every time, and Shadow of a Doubt is one of his best. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's a very thoughtful and exquisitely executed character study about a very young and very bright woman, encountering the heavy side of life for the first time, and the choices she makes. Worth seeing for Wright's performance alone easily Oscar-worthy , Shadow of a Doubt is a timeless piece of noir-esquire originality.
In one of his most chilling and memorable intrigues Alfred Hitchcock lays bare the myth of small town virtue with a perverse piece of Americana about a wholesome family unaware of the gruesome skeleton lurking in its closet. The arrival of everyone's much loved Uncle Charlie Joseph Cotton, in his favorite role is the catalyst to disaster, with eldest daughter Charlie in particular welcoming the arrival of her affectionate namesake as a relief from the humdrum routine of suburban life. But evidence soon begins to suggest the elder Charles might actually be a cold-blooded serial killer, <more>
and a lethal game of charades begins between uncle and niece: she knows the truth, and he knows that she knows the truth. The tension builds to an alarming climax, in a trademark sequence another one for the Hitchcock highlight reel showing the Master of Suspense at the top of his form. The film was shot in sunny Santa Rosa, California, where the shadows are darker because the sunlight is so much brighter.
I didn't care much for this film when I first saw it in college. I liked the romantic, humorous Hitchcock of Lady Vanishes and North by Northwest. But I've seen it twice since over the last 30 years, and each time liked it more than the time before.This time I was struck by the amazing subtleties and details. I love the heroine's pretentious angst in the beginning good to know angsty teens are just a modern invention . I loved the slow build of the plot, and how well you are forced to consider what would you do in such an extraordinary case.But what I mainly love is Joseph <more>
Cotton's brilliant, dead-on performance as a psychopath. Genial and charming, he will flash a dangerous fury for just a moment then veer back to charming and easygoing without in blink of an eye. You see him smile and then, when no one is looking, you see the smile turn to calculation. He is chilling because you can both see how dangerous he is as well as why no one else can see it.I also love the many subtle ways they create the connection between the girl and her uncle, a relationship that at times looks dangerously close to a flirtation.While this is one of Hitchcock's least flashy films, if you go into it knowing that, you will be well rewarded.
I sometimes think that people who don't like this film, don't like it because you aren't bonked over the head by fancy special effects or being shown a bloody knife stuck in someone's back. Psychological thrillers take place in the mind, not splashed across the screen so you don't have to think but sit in your seat and watch all the pretty colors flash by!The acting is superb. Theresa Wright is a gem, and holds her own quite nicely against veteran actor, Joseph Cotton. What you need to look for in this film are the subtle cues given that build until Charlie suspects her <more>
beloved uncle is a murderer, and eventually even tries to kill her, not once but several times. Made when the world was at war, I find it especially disturbing to realize that evil could and can be anywhere. Even sitting around your own dining room table.
Shadow of a Doubt is perhaps Hitchcock's first real masterpiece - a more mature film than The 39 Steps or Rebecca. It is also incidentally his favorite of his own films. The sleepy town of Santa Rosa is far removed from the very real events of WW-2, events that figured at least a mention if not a central influence on most films of that period. Hitchcock's Rear Window and Vertigo were also far removed from the realities of the Cold War and the Communist Witch-Hunts of the 50's.Shadow is taut with sexual tension - the incestuous overtones of the mental affinity of niece and uncle <more>
Charlie, the lusty infatuations of Charlie's teenage friend Catherine, and Herb, who just happens to be around the corner where ever we see Charlie. Charlie, the niece, is played by Teresa Wright in one of Hitchcock's best female performances. She is very warm, innocent and genuinely good-natured - completely unlike Hitch's usual icy blonds. I have always found Joseph Cotten to be quite inexpressive. He is slightly better than his usual self and is believable in charming and winning over the small town-folk.This is probably Hitchcock's only film with a strong human core, coupled with his well-known skills as a master technician. What other director of the era could have revealed the murderer at the start of the film and still maintained tension and a lingering unease throughout. Shadow of a Doubt is a precursor to the menace of Blue Velvet and the sexual tensions of American Beauty - and stays with you much longer than either of them.
This is one of Hitch's best with images full of suspense , drama and tension (by ma-cortes)
Handsome and uncomplicated uncle Charlie Joseph Cotten has come to visit his family in Santa Rosa, returning to home town after longer absence. Although he seems a good man, his young niece Teresa Wright slowly comes to aware he is a wanted merry widow killer and he comes to recognize her malignant suspicions. The suspicious uncle Charlie gradually becoming stronger and mysterious. Meantime two detectives Mcdonald Carey and Wallace Ford are investigating. Further developments ensure an exciting climax on train.From the story by Gordon McConnell, the picture gets unlimited suspense in <more>
crescendo, tense, full of lingering frames and with the typical touches Hitchcock. Besides a literately and thoughtful dialog signed by Thornton Wilder and Alma Reville Hitchcock's usual screenwriter and wife though lacking humor . After his successful British films as ¨39 steps¨ and ¨Jamaica Inn¨ , Hitch was encouraged to go to America and promptly shot his first work in Hollywood hired by the great producer David O'Selznick ; later on he directed this excellent picture . Fine performance by Joseph Cotten as sunny and cynic uncle Charlie . Teresa Wright as shy and glad young is superb and enjoyable . Likable couple formed by Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn in his film debut , booth of whom speaking continuously about murders. And of course cameo role by Alfred Hitchcock , this time as a man on train playing cards. Atmospheric and perceptible music by the maestro Dimitri Tiomkin, including piano sounds . Sensational visual style in black and white cinematography by the cameraman by Joseph Valentine . This interesting movie is brilliantly directed by the Master Hitchcock, resulting to be his favorite personal. It's remade in 1958 in quite inferior remake titled ¨Step down to terror¨ by Harry Keller with Charles Drake, Rod Taylor,Jocelyn Brando and Josephine Hutchinson, furthermore a lousy Television movie. The motion picture is indispensable watching for Hithcock lovers achieving the maximum impact on his audience. Rating : Very good, engrossing and essential viewing.