Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt ★★★★

Hitchcock's personal favorite is one of his best. The first truly American Hitchcock film sees him bring terror and intrigue to small town America. For such a time as the mid-1940's, this seems ripe for social commentary. And to an extent, I think it is (more so than The Birds, I feel). The themes Hitchcock deals with here are some of his grimmest and darkest along with Vertigo. He brings two strikingly different worlds: Hitchcock's "world" of murder and takes it into a small town, into a small town family, two things that never see murderers - he then lets it all play out accordingly. Well... his way, at least.

The script, the pacing, the acting (a Joseph Cotten tour de force), the expert camerawork is all finely tuned and makes for a potboiler of a film, whose intensity builds masterfully and at a fiery pace. Personally, it gave me a creepy feeling most of the time, for you can't really tell if you've figured out already or if you still are and what that means exactly within the context of the story. Htichcock loved the macabre and knowing this is his favorite, it's no surprise at all.

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