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Shadow Of A Doubt [Blu-ray] [1943]


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Shadow Of A Doubt [Blu-ray] [1943] + Rope [Blu-ray] + Strangers On A Train (BD) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00FCA9ZZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,370 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Alfred Hitchcock considered this 1943 thriller to be his personal favourite among his own films, and although it's not as popular as some of Hitchcock's later work, it's certainly worthy of the master's admiration. Scripted by playwright Thornton Wilder and inspired by the actual case of a 1920s serial killer known as "The Merry Widow Murderer," Shadow of a Doubt sets a tone of menace and fear by introducing a psychotic killer into the small-town comforts of Santa Rosa, California. That's where young Charlie (Teresa Wright) lives with her parents and two younger siblings, and where murder is little more than a topic of morbid conversation for their mystery-buff neighbour (Hume Cronyn). Charlie was named after her favourite uncle, who has just arrived for an extended visit, and at first Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) gets along famously with his admiring niece. But the film's chilling prologue has already revealed Uncle Charlie's true identity as the notorious Merry Widow Murderer, and the suspense grows almost unbearable when young Charlie's trust gives way to gradual dread and suspicion. Through narrow escapes and a climactic scene aboard a speeding train, this witty thriller strips away the fa ade of small-town tranquillity to reveal evil where it's least expected. And, of course, it's all done in pure Hitchcockian style. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

SHADOW OF A DOUBT is a perfectly-crafted little film and is one of Hitchcock's most enjoyable creations.
Jeremy W. Forstadt
Arriving to visit his family in California, Uncle Charlie is very popular with all the family, especially 'Young Charlie'.
S J Buck
Let me just say that if you enjoy Hitchcock films, stop right now and get to a copy of "Shadow Of a Doubt" right away.
Brian Hulett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 99 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on May 26, 2004
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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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By DAVID DUBOS on 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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