1942                         Classic thriller

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    • Teresa Wright Young Charlie Newton
    • Joseph Cotten Uncle Charlie Oakley / Mr Spencer / Mr Otis
    • Macdonald Carey Jack Graham
    • Henry Travers Joseph Newton
    • Patricia Collinge Emma Spencer Oakley Newton
    • Hume Cronyn Herbie Hawkins
    • Wallace Ford Fred Saunders
    • Edna May Wonacott Ann Newton
    • Charles Bates Roger Newton
    • Irving Bacon Station master
    • Clarence Muse Pullman porter


  • Dir:
  • Prod:
      Jack H. Skirball
  • Scr:
      Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville, from a story by Gordon McDonell
  • Ph:
      Joseph Valentine
  • Ed:
      Milton Carruth
  • Mus:
      Dmitri Tiomkin
  • Art Dir:
      John B. Goodman, Robert Boyle

    (Skirball / Universal)



    [ s h a d o w   o f   a   d o u b t : m o v i e  r e v i e w ]

    vhs dvd

    Rated: pg

      UK Dvd + Scans

      Alfred Hitchcock's personal favourite of his own movies.

      The suspenseful tenor of dramatics associated with the great man is utilized here to arguably the best advantage in unfolding a story [by Gordon McDonell] of a small town and the arrival of what might prove to be a murderer. Hitch poses a study in contrasts when the world-wise adventurer (Joseph Cotten) eludes police in Philadelphia to journey to his sister's home and family in the small California town of Santa Rosa. His adoring niece (Teresa Wright), is not only named young Charlie after her uncle, but knows there's a mental contact somewhere along the line. Amid the typical small-town family life, she intuitively feels that Cotten has a guilty conscience, and finally ties the ends together to cast suspicion on him as a murderer and fugitive.

      Hitchcock deftly etches his small-town characters and homely surroundings. Wright provides a sincere and persuasive portrayal as the girl, while Cotten (is he the most underrated actor in movie history?) is excellent as the motivating factor in the proceedings. Strong support is provided by Henry Travers, Patricia Collinge, Edna May Wonacott and Charles Bates. Hume Cronyn gets attention as the small-town amateur sleuth.


      It is often said that Orson Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons had a major influence on Hitch for this movie, notably the nostalgic tone. Another possible inspiration is the real-life murder case of Earle Nelson, who killed a succession of mainly middle-aged women in the US and Canada and who was hanged at Winnipeg in 1928.

      Selected fo preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.


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