Found-Again Friday: Shadow of a Doubt

Why Found-Again? I recently visited home, and this is my mother’s favorite Hitchcock film, so it seemed like a natural choice. (It was also, according to the DVD’s special features, Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite.) After being unexpectedly bored stiff by Vertigo, I wondered if I should even bother revisiting this one, but I’m glad I did.

The Premise: A little tired of her suburban family, late-adolescent eldest daughter Charlie is thrilled to discover that her namesake uncle (played by Joseph Cotten) will be paying them a visit. But as you might expect, Uncle Charlie has one heck of a dark secret: he’s also known as the Merry-Widow Murderer. When Little Charlie begins to smell a rat, it’s a tense contest of wills.

It’s a good thing Mom likes this film, since I immediately recognized myself in the movie family’s middle child, the never-silent bookworm Ann. Everything about this movie is close to perfect, in fact: the characters are multifaceted, there’s plenty of humor and pathos along with the suspense, and it’s a great portrayal of relationships…of people with the world at large, within families, within towns.

The Verdict: Very good, and thank heavens: hating on a legend always makes me feel terrible.

Might go well with: Charade remake The Truth About Charlie. Also, it looked like they were having crème brûlée in one of the scenes; on the other hand, is there anything that doesn’t go well with?

(Warning: trailer telegraphs most of ending and is wildly spoiler-y with regard to Uncle Charlie. I almost recommend against watching it.)


J. A.

It reads. It writes. It watches. It researches. It overdoes many of those things!

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