- Actors: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, MacDonald Carey, Henry Travers, Patricia Collinge
- Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
- Producers: Paul Clark, Harry Thomason, Jack H. Skirball, John Braden
- Format: NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Subtitles: Spanish
- Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region A/1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Universal Studios
- Release Date: Oct. 1 2013
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00BM79UO2
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Shadow of a Doubt [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Alfred Hitchcock considered this 1943 thriller to be his personal favorite among his own films, and although it's not as popular as some of Hitchcock's later work, it's certainly worthy of the master's admiration. Scripted by playwright Thornton Wilder and inspired by the actual case of a 1920's serial killer known as "The Merry Widow Murderer," the movie sets a tone of menace and fear by introducing a psychotic killer into the small-town comforts of Santa Rosa, California. That's where young Charlie (Teresa Wright) lives with her parents and two younger siblings, and where murder is little more than a topic of morbid conversation for their mystery-buff neighbor (Hume Cronyn). Charlie was named after her favorite uncle, who has just arrived for an extended visit, and at first Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) gets along famously with his admiring niece. But the film's chilling prologue has already revealed Uncle Charlie's true identity as the notorious Merry Widow Murderer, and the suspense grows almost unbearable when young Charlie's trust gives way to gradual dread and suspicion. Through narrow escapes and a climactic scene aboard a speeding train, this witty thriller strips away the façade of small-town tranquility to reveal evil where it's least expected. And, of course, it's all done in pure Hitchcockian style. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.
Bonus Materials: Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock's Favorite Film, Production Drawings by Art Director Robert Boyle, Production Photographs, Theatrical Trailer, My Scenes --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.
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Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 film "Shadow of a Doubt" was a highlight of this year's festival. In addition to seeing this film in an ornate, period theater, I had the benefit of a perceptive introduction by Alan Rode, a noted author, critic, and charter director of the Film Noir Foundation. It was an outstanding opportunity to see "Shadow of a Doubt", which is listed on the National Film Registry, for the first time.
The movie was both set and filmed in Santa Rosa, California. Not the least of the film's attractions is the opportunity it affords to see this American town, its streets, houses, library, businesses, and people, as they were in the early 1940s. The film tells the story of a middle-class, staid American family consisting of a father who works in a bank, a mother who is a homemaker, a daughter in her late teens, a bookish younger daughter, and a small boy, the youngest child. The family receives a visit from the mother's younger brother, Charles Oakley (Joseph Cotton) affectionately known as "Uncle Charley". As it turns out, Uncle Charley is a ruthless serial killer of elderly women being pursued relentlessly by the police. At first welcomed lovingly into the family home, Uncle Charley's character gradually becomes apparent, particularly to his namesake, the family's older daughter, Charlotte "Charley" Newton (Teresa Wright) who at first idolizes her Uncle and has been about to write asking him to visit. Charley becomes wise to the sinister, violent character of her Uncle and in the process she forms the beginning of a romantic relationship with one of the detectives.
The film grows in suspense throughout. It is a masterful character study of Uncle Charley and of his niece. The film is meant to be discomforting in suggesting the evil that often underlies even the most facially peaceful communities and families. The cinematography adds a great deal to the film in its scenes of the old family house, Santa Rosa itself, and the old steam passenger trains.
"Shadow of a Doubt" is an outstanding film noir and reputedly Hitchcock's own favorite among his films. I was grateful for the opportunity to get to know it and for the continued opportunity to learn about film noir at Noir City D.C.