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Showing 1-10 of 284 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 410 reviews
on August 9, 2017
I viewed this in a revival film theater many years before. This time around it was a HD "stream".
I would consider this second tier Hitchcock, a notch below "Vertigo" and "Strangers on a Train".
Very competently done as always with Hitchcock. I especially enjoy his work with the character actors who add such humor and texture to their roles.
It is always interesting as well to see traditional leading men cast as either ambiguous moral characters or in the "heavy" role.
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on September 11, 2017
A classic, fabulous Hitchcock film.
If you like Hitchcock's style and you've not seen this movie, you will almost surely enjoy it. Full of the subtle suspense and tension that he is known for.
Well worth your time and money.
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on August 20, 2017
Whew he could play a bad guy well. Patty McCormack mentioned this movie as one similar in idea to THE BAD SEED in her interview on the MOMMY horror movie DVD.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 25, 2004
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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on November 23, 2013
"Shadow of a Doubt" reminded me of trials, judges, juries, and, their decisions; furthermore being a sociologist, labeling theory can be applied when judging persons who were tried for a particular felony.

A judge's orders may include "reasonable doubt"; hence if even one juror has a doubt in his/her mind, he/she must vote according to his/her conscience. In the case of the movie, "Shadow of a Doubt" the niece must decide whether sufficient evidence exists for her to accuse her uncle of a plurality of murders.

I find the movie most informative when it comes to deducing the evidence and the niece's discovering that her uncle did, in fact, commit the murders. My hat is off once again to Mr. Alfred Hitchcock.
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on August 27, 2016
Kind of Film Noir meets Hitchcock. Love Joseph Cotten, terrific actor. A quality. Like him in other movies more but this is still a good mystery. Family liked it.
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on May 2, 2012
Hitchcock delivers suspense in the meticulous style that would become his trademark. Brilliant casting and writing make this thriller one of Hitchcock's most memorable. The plot and characters have been well-decscribed in other reviews, and I would only add some things about the film that stand out for me:

I especially liked how Hitchcock uses mundane details of middle-class American life and manners to create ambiance and tone. The location shooting in Shadow of a Doubt was still not yet common at this time in Hollywood film: from the gritty opening street scenes in Newark( representing Philadelphia) to the idyllic small town of Santa Rosa, Hitchcock uses the locations as well as any studio set. Look at the extras and scenery and how people dress and walk, all captured seamlessly by Hitchcock as part of the story.

Small touches of humor abound like the early scene at home with the bookworm younger sister lying on the floor, and reading a book while eating an apple; and then putting her half-eaten apple on the carpeted floor while she goes to answer the phone. Or Mrs Newton earnestly explaining about mixing ingredients for a cake to an exasperated detective masquerading as a pollster.
Also, listen carefully to the dialoque, particularly at the Newton household with people talking over each other. And, trailing conversations that often come from out of camera shot which adds to the genuine feeling of family life with its informality and bustle of children.

I could go on and on as there are so many different aspects about this film to enjoy. Simply said, Hitchcock at the top of his form.
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on September 11, 2016
You really can't go wrong with Hitchcock. he was a master at both choosing the stories he told and how he told them and this one is no exception. Theresa Wright was at the top of her game and held up well against veteran Joseph Cotton. All the supporting cast were excellent and you get a treat with the performance of a young Hugh Cronin. Well-paced with a nice build up as it dawns on Theresa Wright that her beloved uncle may have something to hide.
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on November 17, 2015
Joseph Cotton is one of the best!! He is so disarming and then so positively EVIL!! No effects, no makeup, no monsters and this movie can give me night mares, all from his performance. Back in the day when actors ACTED!!!
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on April 6, 2015
Critics and fans agree that Shadow of a Doubt is director Alfred Hitchcock’s finest film. It was nominated for an academy award for Best Story in 1943 and was selected in 1991 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States national film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Perhaps best of all, it has a 100% rating on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes from critics and fans alike.
Shadow of a Doubt is the story of a seemingly charming man, Uncle Charlie, who has a dark and sinister side which is slowly unraveled by his niece. Uncle Charlie’s true character is skillfully revealed through stylized cinematography, intriguing lighting, and an uneasy plot.
In the opening scene, cinematography sets the stage for the movie and its focus: Uncle Charlie. As the intro credits fade, we see a sweeping vista of a large bridge and a city’s skyline. The shots fade into a neighborhood, then a street with kids playing ball in the street of that same neighborhood. After the street we see a building, then a window, then Charlie laying on a bed in a formal suit, with a slow movement to his face, and then the camera lingers there. This series of shots sets the stage of the film’s focus on Uncle Charlie. At first, the audience does not know who this man is or what he is doing, but we know that the movie is all about him. The cinematography in the rest of this first scene gives insight and foreshadowing into Uncle Charlie’s true character. After we see him on the bed, we learn that two men are looking for him. This seems to spook Charlie as he makes immediate plans to leave, walking out the door and right past the two men. The scene ends with a bird’s-eye view of the two men running around confused, with Charlie looking down at them from the top of a building. This shows us that Uncle Charlie is elusive, tries to confuse people and may have a few dark secrets that will be explored in this film. Much can be learned about Uncle Charlie from paying attention to the cinematography of the first seven minutes of the movie.

From that very first scene in the movie, lighting also plays a key role in establishing Uncle Charlie’s character. As Charlie lies on the bed in the small, darkened room, the camera lingers on his motionless face. The only thing that is illuminated is the bottom-half of his face; his eyes remain in the shadows. This creates a mysterious and eery feeling about Charlie, and the viewer wants to know more. Shortly, as a blind is closed on a window, shadows overtake Charlie from head to toe. When the blind is reopened by Charlie, it creates shadows reminiscent of a jail cell, metaphorically reflecting the nature of Uncle Charlie’s lifestyle because, although he is never incarcerated, his options are so limited, he may as well be in jail. In that first seven minutes of Shadow of a Doubt, the lighting implies an awfully lot about Charlie and his life: he’s not a nice man and his life is full of dark secrets.

Shadow of a Doubt’s plot contributes to Uncle Charlie’s story. His essence is a sharp contrast to the world in which his family lives; they are small town people and innocent, while he is a murderer. Despite this difference, Uncle Charlie’s family remains oblivious until his niece discovers the truth about his life, and she chooses to keep his secret hidden. Her reality is altered by the fall of her “hero”. Uncle Charlie’s attitude contrasts greatly with his family; their world is filled with a soft glow of light which shows a dreamy and happy world. This reality is a stark contrast compared to Uncle Charlie’s reality of his life in the shadows. This ignorance is a source of irony, especially with a sub-plot involving Charlie’s brother-in-law, Mr. Newton, and his friend Herbie, who are both obsessed with the so-called "perfect crime”. This subplot occurs regularly; Mr. Newton and Herbie being completely oblivious to the fact that a real life serial killer, the affable Uncle Charlie, lives among them. This sub-plot juxtaposes the innocence of family members as they entertain themselves with “impossible” tales of crime and highlights the inherent evil that exists among them, within Uncle Charlie.
All in all, the cinematography, lighting and plot, combined with other movie-making dimensions, contribute to the characterization of Uncle Charlie. From the very first scene, viewers understand that Uncle Charlie is a man with a story, and they are drawn into that story by every dimension of artistic movie-making. These elements combine to make Shadow of a Doubt a masterpiece forever. Way to go Alfred; you really outdid yourself. This is what the cinema is for.
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