J. & C.'s Movie Reviews

Our Notes on Movies Made Public

Shadow of a Doubt

Posted by J on November 17, 2007

The central conundrum of this movie is, who is Uncle Charlie? Let’s try to figure this out before the movie starts. Here are the facts:

  1. This is an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

So the answer is obvious.

By the time you get to the point that Uncle Charlie has revealed himself as Uncle Charlie, you realize that an hour of your life has slipped by. By the time that Uncle Charlie tries to do what Uncle Charlie has done many times before, you realize that two hours of your life have slipped by.

There is a two-minute ending that attempts to say that Uncle Charlie was bad. Well, no kidding!

Entertainment: 1
Intelligence: 7
Morality: 2


2 Responses to “Shadow of a Doubt”

  1. Jon Luker said

    You know, I’ve watched several Hitchcock movies with the understanding that I’m supposed to appreciate them by virtue of who directed them. I just haven’t found myself all that impressed. Am I missing something? I watched Psycho for the first time last year and felt about the same way you have conveyed in this brief review. I guess you “had to be there” in some sense, to experience the taboo-breaking and innovative film technique. But almost half a century on, it’s lays flat.

  2. J. and C. Matthews said

    I am 0-for-4 with Hitchcock movies. No matter the movie’s style, they always seem to ooze the idea that murder–while it takes a psychopath to do it–is a little sexy. Case in point, in Shadow of a Doubt, two bourgeois men casually discuss sly ways they can kill each other throughout the movie. This is supposed to augment what’s going on with Uncle Charlie. On another level, it also is making the point that the lust for violence is hidden under the layers of the happy white America of the ’40s and ’50s. It’s pretty Freudian in that regard.

    My first Hitchcock movie was in 8th grade, when my English teacher showed Psycho in class. Quite enlightening.

    Maybe my good friend Joel Duff, who does like Alfred, could enlighten us. Got any recommendations, Joel? Have you seen this movie, and is there something I’m missing?

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