#1  
Old 10-06-2003, 10:09 AM
Shadow of Doubt....Hitchcock's favorite

Just saw Shadow of a Doubt (with Teresa Wright and JOseph Cotton). I had heard recently that this was Hitchcock's favorite movie of his and thought that was really quite impressive, seeing how much he has to be proud of. I understand his sentiments completely.

I can't really explain it but there is a quality in this movie that just outshines his other films where characterization is concerned. Make no mistake, I love Hitchock's flashier films . Vertigo, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Rebecca, North By Northwest...all of these are masterpieces in filmmaking. Some of his smaller films (The thirty-nine steps, The Trouble With Harry, Strangers on a Train etc.) which are often overlooked are also masterpieces in THEIR own right and deserve repeated viewings as well. But a common trait among most of Hitchcock's characters is wit. The lead characters in these movies are exceptional in some way....they have charisma, beauty, poise, or are downright lunatics (Norman Bates, anybody?).

The thing I liked the most about the lead characters in Shadow of a Doubt is their doggone normalcy. The 'Cleaver-esque' family, of which Teresa Wright is the eldest daughter, are complacent and dull. You completely understand her boredom and her delight when her dashing young uncle visits. His personality is not alltogether loveable but he is different and you feel their relief at the escape he provides. And then things start to get strange. Wright's performance runs the gamut from stupid simplicity to cold and austere. It's fabulous. But Cotton is the most impressive of the bunch. His villain is unlike any of Hitchcock's and quite probably my favorite now. Far be it from me to be at a loss for words but I really can't explain why. All I know is he is unsettlingly real, for a Hitch villain, and I was always a little uncomfortable when he was on the screen. But I also really liked him. He reminded me of my husband w/ his crazy mood swings. Watch this and gather your own opinion.

Of course, the movie is NOT without wit...though the characters are funny in a more mundane sort of way. The suspense is there too, though a bit more subtle. A certain library scene will go down in my list of favorites for sure, as will a certain spot of dialogue between Wright and Cotton about 3/4 of the way through.

Love this or not but TRY to see why Hitchcock does. It's half the fun of watching it at all.

Shadow of A Doubt-10/10
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2003, 05:56 PM
Re: Shadow of Doubt....Hitchcock's favorite

Quote:
Originally posted by SIREN30
Just saw Shadow of a Doubt (with Teresa Wright and JOseph Cotton). I had heard recently that this was Hitchcock's favorite movie of his and thought that was really quite impressive, seeing how much he has to be proud of. I understand his sentiments completely.

I can't really explain it but there is a quality in this movie that just outshines his other films where characterization is concerned. Make no mistake, I love Hitchock's flashier films . Vertigo, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Rebecca, North By Northwest...all of these are masterpieces in filmmaking. Some of his smaller films (The thirty-nine steps, The Trouble With Harry, Strangers on a Train etc.) which are often overlooked are also masterpieces in THEIR own right and deserve repeated viewings as well. But a common trait among most of Hitchcock's characters is wit. The lead characters in these movies are exceptional in some way....they have charisma, beauty, poise, or are downright lunatics (Norman Bates, anybody?).

The thing I liked the most about the lead characters in Shadow of a Doubt is their doggone normalcy. The 'Cleaver-esque' family, of which Teresa Wright is the eldest daughter, are complacent and dull. You completely understand her boredom and her delight when her dashing young uncle visits. His personality is not alltogether loveable but he is different and you feel their relief at the escape he provides. And then things start to get strange. Wright's performance runs the gamut from stupid simplicity to cold and austere. It's fabulous. But Cotton is the most impressive of the bunch. His villain is unlike any of Hitchcock's and quite probably my favorite now. Far be it from me to be at a loss for words but I really can't explain why. All I know is he is unsettlingly real, for a Hitch villain, and I was always a little uncomfortable when he was on the screen. But I also really liked him. He reminded me of my husband w/ his crazy mood swings. Watch this and gather your own opinion.

Of course, the movie is NOT without wit...though the characters are funny in a more mundane sort of way. The suspense is there too, though a bit more subtle. A certain library scene will go down in my list of favorites for sure, as will a certain spot of dialogue between Wright and Cotton about 3/4 of the way through.

Love this or not but TRY to see why Hitchcock does. It's half the fun of watching it at all.

Shadow of A Doubt-10/10
I agree with almost everything you said, I'm closer to a 9/10, though. Still a brilliant movie with Cotten's second best performance (Nothing tops The Third Man).
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2003, 10:07 PM
I agree with just about everything you said, SIREN30.

This was one of the first Hitchcock films I have seen, and it always stayed with me. It doesn't get a 10/10 from me, but it is a masterpiece in it's own right, and one of Hitchcock's more underrated films. As a director, Hitchcock knows how to create suspense and the characters in film. Psycho, Rebecca, Rear Window are all examples of that, they have great climax, tension and a story to keep the audience intrigued. Shadow of a Doubt is another great, classic example; Joseph Cotten as Uncle Charlie is one of the main highlights of this film. Cotten has always been a highly underrated actor IMO; films such as Citizen Kane, The Third Man and Gaslight have all featured great performances by him, but I don't think any of his performances will ever top his chilling turn as Uncle Charlie, the villains in Hitchcock's movies are another big part as to why the films work great; from Norman Bates to Mrs. Danvers, to Lars Thorwald, and even the birds, are all scary in their own way. Cotten's character is very effective, and eerie to the point that he WILL send shivers down your spine, but yet you like him, there's an extreme attraction about him. Cotten was willing to bring personality to his character and created a classic screen villain that's not easy to forget. Even if the other elements, it's worth seeing for his performance alone. But all other elements of the movie worked greatly as well, I'm not the biggest fan of Teresa Wright but she played her part in this movie extremely well, and the transformation that she displayed in her character is priceless. Suspense, wit and a sort of darkness to the whole thing; the movie is well made, well acted, and if you want a thrilling and fun ride, this film is not to be missed. 9.5/10

Last edited by Hannibal21; 10-08-2003 at 04:09 AM..
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2003, 05:53 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Hannibal21
I agree with just about everything you said, Trinity.
It's "SIREN30", Hannibal. I haven't even seen this movie (plan to see it though).
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2003, 06:24 PM
Hannibal's got so many ladies he can't even keep their names in order.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2003, 04:08 AM
Damn! Ok, I have to go and edit.

Actually, Trinity and SIREN30, marry me, right away.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2003, 10:31 AM
If I weren't already hitched, I might've taken you up on that...we could get watch movies 24/7 and get nice and portly.
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