Shadow of a Doubt (1942) – 8/10 Hitchcock crime suspense drama movie review

Cast / crew
Teresa Wright: Young Charlie
Joseph Cotten: Uncle Charlie
Writer (Screenplay): Thornton Wilder
Writer (Screenplay): Sally Benson
Writer (Screenplay): Alma Reville
Writer (Story): Gordon McDonell
Producer: Jack H. Skirball
Acknowledgment: Thornton Wilder
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Shadow of a Doubt (1942)

When Uncle Charlie arrives in the small Californian town of Santa Rosa, he is welcomed with open arms by his family, especially his niece, also named Charlie. However, she soon begins to harbour doubts about her favourite uncle.


"We’re not talking about killing people. Herb’s talking about killing me and I’m talking about killing him." – Joseph Newton

Something clearly evident here is the sense of glee that Hitchcock, and no one else, brought to the subject of murder and was a critical element in making his films so entertaining. Even though he usually made crime thrillers, Hitchcock also consistently made his films will-he-get-away-with-it’s not who-dun-it’s. He then backs that up by making it a very real possibility that the villain (a successfully cast-against-type Joseph Cotten) will, if not succeed at his malevolence, get away with it. Hitchcock’s repeated success at balancing these two elements (among others) is why he is a genius.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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