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Shadow of a Doubt
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Top Customer Reviews
--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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great, creepy film by some of the greatest artists of the age. Don't miss it.Published 2 days ago by sparklers
We LOVE Theresa Wright, Joseph Cotten and EVERYONE else in the fantastic ensemble cast!
That things can turn so dark so quickly in life is perfectly realized in this character... Read more
This is a lousy movie. Film Noir which I love but 1 Star seems a stretch. I love Joseph Cotten and never have seen him in a bad movie, until this!Published 8 days ago by Rauol Pifkey III
Always enjoyable. Love the family and the era of homemaking it represents.Published 20 days ago by jacqueline m leonard
Hands down "Shadow of a Doubt" is one of my favorite Hitchcock films...as it was his ! On AMC I happened to catch the last 5 minutes of it and wanted so much to find out... Read morePublished 27 days ago by A. Rashid
I was in my late twenties in 1985 when i had a crush for Teresa Wright. She is the type of woman a man should dream about marrying. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luis Fernandez
This may, just may, be my favorite Hitchcock film though Notorious runs a tight second. It was Mr. Hitchcock's first American film, and said to be his favorite of all his films. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Vivian
Terrific DVD and a real bargain
Very fast delivery
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