Monday, April 4, 2011

Movie of the Week - Shadow of a Doubt

This week’s movie is Shadow of a Doubt (1943).

The thriller is about a young girl in a small town family who is bored. When her favorite Uncle Charlie comes to visit, she thinks everything will be grand, but she discovers that he may not be the man he seems to be. The film is directed by the master Alfred Hitchcock, and this is said to be his favorite of his films as it brings menace into small-town America. He also enjoyed working with playwright Thornton Wilder on the film. Working on the film, Hitchcock had very good composer Dimitri Tiomkin and frequent collaborators cinematographer Joseph A. Valentine and art director John B. Goodman. The film also has a great cast starring Teresa Wright (who is also fabulous in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives) and Joseph Cotten (who many will know from his work with Orson Welles). The supporting cast is highlighted by performances from Hume Cronyn, Patricia Collinge and Edna May Wonacott. What makes this film great is Hitchcock’s ability to show the quaintness of quintessential American life and then introduce terror into it. Plus, the villain is very likable and charismatic, which really emphasizes the young girl’s struggles with the truth about her uncle. It is Hitchcock’s first really American film. He had been working in Hollywood for a few years, but his great Hollywood films prior were Rebecca and Suspicion, both set in the UK. Hitchcock has many wonderful films, but this one of his best. It is a must for cinema and Hitchcock fans. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and to Rent

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