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Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Joseph Cotten , Teresa Wright , Alfred Hitchcock  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, MacDonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville
  • Producers: Jack H. Skirball
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000055Y14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,566 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shadow of a Doubt" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock's Favorite Film
  • Production Drawings
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    When Uncle Charlie comes to visit his relatives in the sleepy town of Santa Rosa, the foundation is laid for one of his most engaging and suspenseful excursions. Joseph Cotton stars as the charming Uncle Charlie, a beguiling killer who travels from Philadelphia to California just one step ahead of the law. But soon his unknowing niece and namesake, "Young Charlie" (Teresa Wright), begins to suspect her uncle of being the Merry Widow murderer, and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins. As his niece draws closer to the truth, the psychopathic killer has no choice but to plot the death of his favorite relative in one of Hitchcock's most riveting psychological thrillers.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Having just watched Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last night for the first time, I was surprised at how good it was, and why I've never seen it before. I mean, I am a fan of Hitchcock, and I've seen many of his movies, but to have heard so little of this particular film seems puzzling to me, as it's an excellent film, and worthy of a lot more recognition than it seems to have gotten. Either that or I just need to get out of my cookie jar more often...
    Anyway, the film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Thornton Wilder, stars a wonderful cast including Teresa Wright, who appeared with Gary Cooper the previous year in The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, The Third Man), and Henry Travers (High Sierra, Mrs. Miniver, It's a Wonderful Life). Also making an appearance is Hume Cronyn making his film debut in a supporting role as a mousy neighbor.
    The story involves a family in a small California town, and the impending arrival of a relative, Charlie (Cotten), from back east. Most anticipatory is younger Charlie (Wright), named after her uncle, as she feels a deep, almost telepathic connection to this man she hasn't seen in quite awhile. Now, before Charlie's departure for California, we get a general sense of unease, as it seems Charlie is involved in something of a sinister nature. Upon arriving in California, the visit seems to be going well, as the family welcomes him with open arms, but soon we learn that trouble has followed Charlie in the form of two rather shady individuals who present themselves with a certain amount of deception, which is elaborated on later. The older Charlie's behavior begins to change subtly, perceptible only to the younger Charlie and us, the audience.
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    45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hitchcock's Greatest Films September 25, 2004
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Shadow of a Doubt is my favorite Hitchock movie. Among the reasons why I like it...

    --Theresa Wright gave an extraordinary performance as Young Charlie, immensely sympathetic and appealing. I rate hers as the best acting job by a female lead in any of Hitchock's films, including those by Bergman, Kelly, et al.

    --It was a perfect role for Cotten, an actor I like, who had charm, attractiveness, but to me always seemed a little weak. I thought the role, however psychopathic, suited his personality.

    --The murder by-play at the family dinner table was great fun and played off Uncle Charlie's real murderousness.

    --The slowly building knowledge that Young Charlie was realizing the truth about the uncle she idolized and the knowledge that no one would believe her.

    --The slowly building realization that despite the affection Uncle Charlie had for Young Charlie, he probably was going to do her harm.

    --The affection that Hitchcock shows toward comfortable small town America. It's an idealization, but without condescension. And because he plays it straight, he makes Uncle Charlie's philosophy of life seem all the more unsettling.

    --The script was, I think, one of the best written and tightest Hitchcock ever worked with.

    There's no mystery. We know Uncle Charlie is a killer. The movie is about how Young Charlie and Uncle Charlie are going to resolve their problem as they circle around each other. Hitchcock creates an increasingly unsettling atmosphere, using gentle humor as a foil, and with a person, Young Charlie, it's easy to care about.

    The DVD transfer is very good.
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    57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars IN RETROSPECT, ONE OF THE BEST EVER May 12, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    To say Hitch's "Shadow of a Doubt" is a great film would be fair; but in all honesty, looking back on the films (hundreds by now, maybe thousands) I've seen, there are few that have left such an indelible impression on me.
    By now, everyone knows the story of Uncle Charlie and his adoring niece and how she slowly uncovers the truth behind her mysterious uncle's past.
    What's brilliant about this movie is the way it foreshadowed and still influences movies today. Think of "Blue Velvet" and its portrayal of the naive small town boy uncovering a secret to his sleepy little town. Or even "The Third Man" just a few years later where, ironically, Joseph Cotton finds the truth about his best friend, Orson Welles.
    What makes this film endure is its theme: The loss of innocence. the innocence of Teresa Wright's adoring neice (watch the brilliant scene in the bar where she sits down with Joseph Cotton), the innocence of Charlie's family and of course, the innocence of Santa Rosa itself.
    Perhaps Hitchcock and Thornton Wilder were prophetic in the way they mapped out the loss of America's innocence especially after the war. (the film was released around then). Look at our society now and how everything has changed. The 50's were looked upon as the decade we lost our innocence (Some even point far later to the Vietnam war as the period that ended it) but Hitchcock back in the 40's was saying that everything was not all right, and that bad things just didn't happen in dark alleys and dark houses, that it could happen on the sunniest of days and in most Apple Pie, White picket fence homes.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Just an excellent movie. The type you can watch over and ...
    Just an excellent movie. The type you can watch over and over again and never be bored with. I'm happy to add it to my collection.
    Published 4 hours ago by Elie Mamieh
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Hitchcock film
    Another great Hitchcock film, I had never realized that it a Hitchcick film, but I did remember that it was a goody. Joseph Cotton and Thresea Wright were perfectly cast for this/
    Published 5 days ago by Granny H
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Alfred Hitchcock
    One of my favorite movies. It's certainly my favorite of Alfred Hitchcock's. Loved the setting of the small California town. Read more
    Published 6 days ago by Cassia2014
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Published 17 days ago by bitx
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suave, likeable, distinguished and charming Serial Killer?
    An excellent dark film, in which a beloved Uncle (Joseph Cotton) begins to appear to be a womanizing serial killer and thief. Read more
    Published 23 days ago by Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A wonderful experience!
    Published 29 days ago by Alice
    5.0 out of 5 stars More
    I would give it six stars.
    Published 1 month ago by Joanne Hanger
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's Best Movie!
    This is my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. Wonderful cast and great suspenseful story line. This is a must for anybody's collection of black and white films. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by C. Stuart
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great thriller! Great cast!
    Published 1 month ago by rhonda Hart
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A great classic movie.
    Published 1 month ago by Mary Katharine Hancock
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    The "enhanced" DVD is a scam -- it's a unlicensed bootleg and contains a poor quality version of the film downloaded from the Internet Archive. Stick to the official DVD release from Universal and you'll get the best available transfer of the film, along with a selection of extras... Read More
    Aug 14, 2009 by Dave Pattern |  See all 3 posts
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    The "enhanced" DVD is a scam -- it's a unlicensed bootleg and contains a poor quality version of the film downloaded from the Internet Archive. Stick to the official DVD release from Universal and you'll get the best available transfer of the film (including English and Spanish... Read More
    Aug 14, 2009 by Dave Pattern |  See all 3 posts
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