Shadow of a Doubt is a 1943 American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten. Written by Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, and Alma Reville, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story for Gordon McDonell. In 1991, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Alfred Hitchcock has quoted this film as his favourite from all his masterpieces, which is not hard to understand. My favourite Hitchcock movie, although it may sound strange or uncommon, is Suspicion (1941), I don’t know what it is, but I simply love it. Anyhow, let’s get back to Shadow Of A Doubt, shall we? Next to Suspicion, it definitely is my favourite, I think it’s just a fantastic film. I don’t particularly enjoy saying this, but I prefer the movies Hitch made during the 1940’s, though I adore Rear Window, Stage Fright, Psycho and others from the 1950’s. The acting in the film is the most brilliant thing about it, Joseph Cotten is such a terrific but underrated actor, he never paid attention to his good looks and proved he could do absolutely anything. Teresa Wright as Young Charlie is wonderful, she’s quite a gem and I wouldn’t mind seeing her more often in motion pictures. The supporting cast is also a charming delight to the audience.
Films that show how darkness can fall over a darling small town are always interesting and perverse. To me, the scariest line of the movie is when Uncle Charlie says, full of hatred and torment: “How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you’d find swine? The world’s a hell.”