View Single Post
Old 05-12-2012, 02:10 PM
Shadow Of A Doubt

Apparently Hitch’s favorite of his films, and I can see why, one of the greats by a long mile. It basically picks up where his own Suspicion left off, in that same thriller tradition where idyllic homespun harmony is slowly usurped for two hours by growing distrust and threat of violence. The man never turned down a chance to poke a sharp stick into the cozy confines of the American Dream of the Golden Age, and here it’s no different as Uncle Charlie (a terrifically varied, subtly intense performance from Joseph Cotton) comes to town to stay with his family, including his favorite niece Charlie (Teresa Wright, playing virgin idealism just waiting to be corrupted to a tee). The relationship between the two that gradually unravels makes it one of Hitchcock's strongest character pieces, actually. Where this one veers from the track laid out by the cagey Suspicion is in the third act, which paints Uncle Charlie in a darker and darker tone that has fun exploring the idea of how far in denial one has to be to not see a family member in a different light if all the evidence suggests they're guilty. And that paranoia just pops with Hitch’s mastery of suspense and paying off those moments of foreshadowing that came before in interesting - and for its day, probably shocking - ways.

-> 9/10