"You have *got* to know something's up with those Charlies! Ugh!"<
You know I've got to disagree with you there, as we disagreed about Amy Madigan's character in 'Streets of Fire' being gay and the filmmakers supposedly kept her in the closet. It's not certain that the character McCoy was gay, but it is certain (to me, anyway) that it was irrelevant to the movie.
In 'Shadow of a Doubt', I don't think there was any such agenda to make young Charlie sexually attracted to her uncle, or vice versa. I've seen the movie eight times over the years, and have seen it with audiences of all kinds, read about subtext, and it was never occurred to me that it was an erotic bond they were going for there, subtly or not.
I've read a number of people say 'Vertigo' and 'The Birds' were Hitch working out his own sexual frustrations with women, and that 'Rope' and 'Strangers on a Train' were anti-gay films made by a guilty-feeling closeted gay director.
The sexual frustration bit may be true to an extent, but it only goes so far into understanding the movies: not very far. The repressed gay theory could be true, but simply making the gay characters murderers does not in itself make it anti-gay!
To me, these are very reductive ways of looking at the movies, and a symptom of our sex-centric culture today, and putting everything through that analytical lens tends to distort the original meaning.
I'd put 'Shadow of a Doubt' in the same class of satire as 'Fargo', an examination of an interloping evil set to the backdrop small town mores and mundanity. I don't think it was as great as 'Fargo', because it wasn't as expansive or subtle in the moral shades of grey, but considering the time in which it was made, 'Shadows' holds up well as a classic in every respect.
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