Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

PG   |    |  Thriller


Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Poster

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

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7.9/10
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  • Alfred Hitchcock in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Teresa Wright in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Alfred Hitchcock in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Alfred Hitchcock in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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7 January 2004 | Exploding Penguin
The Master at his best.
I own the Hitchcock collection (14 films in toto), and while this isn't my favourite of the bunch ('Psycho' is one of my favourite movies of all time, and 'Birds' never gets old), I like to watch it every now and again to remind myself what it means to make a "suspense film", and why Hitchcock was and always will be the master of this craft.

To give away even the slightest story detail would ruin it for new viewers, because it is essential that everyone begin with the wrong impressions of the major characters. This allows Hitch to pull off his famous 'twists' throughout the course of the movie, hitting you every now and then with something you simply weren't expecting.

One of my favourite elements in the movie is the ongoing dialogue between Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn, avid mystery readers who are constantly discussing the best ways to murder each other. Apart from being a bit of comic relief in an otherwise very dark film, it also demonstrates how lightly people think of murder and murderers...until they encounter them face-to-face.

My advice then, if you want to see this movie, is not to learn anything about it beforehand. Going in with no knowledge will increase the movie's initial impact, and will help you to appreciate why Hitchcock was the 'Master of Suspense'. This is a taut thriller with no gratuitous violence, foul language, or mature situations.

(Hitch considered it 'a family film'.)

Enjoy!

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