movie film review | chris tookey

Shadow Of A Doubt

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  Shadow Of A Doubt Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
9.20 /10
Joseph Cotten , Teresa Wright ,

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville from story by Gordon McDonell

Released: 1943
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 108

A small-town girl (Teresa Wright) suspects her favourite uncle (Joseph Cotten) of being a murderer.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Based on the case of Earle Leonard Nelson, a mass strangler of the 1920s, who became known as "the Merry Widow Murderer", this is low-key but effective Hitchcock - and one of the director's own favourites. There is much less action than in most of his best movies, but plenty of suspense. Hitchcock and Thornton Wilder - author of that nostalgic piece of Americana, Our Town - economically establish a vision of a safe, conservative, boring Middle America, then give us the frisson of seeing it under attack from within.

More than any other Hitchcock film, Shadow of a Doubt captures the attractiveness of evil. Joseph Cotten is outstanding, but so is Teresa Wright as the niece who is, to some extent, his soul-mate. Joe Valentine's cinematography is superb. The picture was undervalued by American reviewers on release (for some reason Hitchcock fell out of critical fashion during the 50s), but the British ones liked it well enough.

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