Monday, June 25, 2012

Shadow Of A Doubt

The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands, dead, husbands who've spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. And then they die and leave their money to their wives, their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money, proud of their jewellery but of nothing else, horrible, faded, fat, greedy women... Are they human or are they fat, wheezing animals, hmm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old? 
Uncle Charlie

Shadow of a Doubt (1942)
It is known that this was Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite film of all of his works, why was this? Was it maybe the difference of knowing the killer straight off the bat? The building suspense that follows? We may never know why it was his favourite, but what we do know is this film was one of his best. A man named Charlie (Joseph Cotton) is at home with his maid, when two policemen come around looking for him. Giving them the slip Charlie escapes to a nearby train station and boards the first train to Santa Rosa. Meanwhile in Santa Rosa a young teenage girl also named Charlie (Teresa Wright) is tired with how boring her life is in her secluded hometown, and complains about this to her parents and wishes for a bit more action in her life. Wanting her Uncle Charlie (Who she is named after) to come to town she sends a telegram to him. Never actually receiving it he shows up at the family’s doorstep that evening. The whole family is overjoyed with Uncle Charlie’s arrival and beg him to stay for some time. Later that night Uncle Charlie is reading the newspaper only to suddenly rip an article out of the paper for no apparent reason. Startled by this; Young Charlie asks him what that was all about, but he brushes her off immediately. She finds Doubt in her mind about her beloved Uncle. Is he really what he says he is? Not long after, is a practically chilling dinner scene in which Uncle Charlie reveals his utter contempt for old widows. Charlie wonders if her uncle could be the one and only infamous marry widow killer? Young Charlie’s Doubt grows in her mind. Not actually enjoying the films straight out plot, I was immensely fascinated with the filming techniques Hitchcock was able to utilise in this thriller. The dinner scene’s intense close ups really puts you in the place of young Charlie, and makes you start to fear Uncle Charlie to the vary end. Even though it has a predictable plot it still manages to keep you interested with these two Charlie's relationship the entire time. An instant Hitchcock classic.


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