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I Confess (1952)

tomatometer

40

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 7,240

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on the turn-of-the-century play Our Two Consciences by Paul Anthelme, Hitchcock's I Confess is set in Quebec. Montgomery Clift plays a priest who hears the confession of church sexton O.E. Hasse. "I...killed...a man" whispers Hasse in tight closeup--and, bound by the laws of the Confessional, Clift is unable to turn Hasse over to the police. But police-inspector Karl Malden has a pretty good idea who the guilty party is: all evidence points to Clift. It seems that the dead man had been

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

George Tabori, William Archibald

Sep 7, 2004

WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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Cast

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (4) | DVD (8)

The movie is more interesting than achieved: it's the most forthright statement of the transference theme in Hitchcock's work, but it's also the least nuanced.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While Hitchcock short-changes on the expected round of suspense for which he is noted, he does bring out a number of topflight performances and gives the picture an interesting polish that is documentary at times.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A good, workmanlike thriller, I Confess is only fair-to-middling Hitchcock.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alfred Hitchcock's famous talent for brewing a mood of fine suspense with clever direction and cutting is spent on a nigh suspenseless script.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's heavy going at times...

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's entertaining, and the visuals speak volumes more than the over-cooked dialogue. Worth a look.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Clift's man-in-crisis performance is one of his finest.

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema

Clift lets guilt channel through his matinee idol looks, a brief reminder of his more powerful performance in George Stevens' A Place in the Sun. (From Hitchcock 101)

June 27, 2010 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

The sincerely intense performances by Malden and Clift make this minor Hitchcock tale seem like a major Hitchcock tale.

November 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Less than great, but still intriguing.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The biggest crime surrounding I Confess is the generally indifferent reception that the film has received over the years

January 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

One of the most astonishing-looking films in all of black-and-white cinematography.

December 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It's still very much worth watching.

September 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

May or may not rank with Hitch's greatest masterpieces, but its premise offers perhaps the most compelling variation on his favorite theme, the innocent man wrongly accused.

September 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

a minor work in Hitchcock's canon

September 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

I Confess suggests Hitchcock's experimental urge to incorporate less overt artificiality into his vision.

September 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Gripping and haunting.

June 12, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Occupied the top spot on their Hitchcock chart in its time, but has since been usurped in the minds of contemporary critics by the filmmaker's later, slicker productions.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Weak Hitchcock entry.

November 5, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for I Confess

Hitchcock's fans are bound to find something or another interesting in this simple crime drama, but I failed to hail any part of it. Not just the predictability, but the too-good-to-be-real love story also distracted me. Despite watching a work of fiction, I simply couldn't ignore that sort of execution.
May 14, 2013
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

A murderer confesses his dirt to a Catholic priest, but will the priest keep his vow of silence ... even after the priest is accused of the crime? Like The Wrong Man, this (beautifully filmed in noirish black and white) is chock full of Catholic imagery and bravura performances by the principals, but the melodramatic script renders this only Hitchcock lite, which is still better than a lot.
February 29, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

Not Alfred Hitchcock's best.
June 24, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

I Confess raises a very good question, how far can you question certain figures and are certain beliefs above the law. It rings a little bit hollow though as Priests have a duty to report such crimes and are, and have been for a while, instructed to do so. It doesn't have the intrigue that you'd expect from a Hitchcock thriller but it is brilliantly shot and while the acting is good, it is Karl Malden as Inspector Larrue who steals the show in my opinion.
February 14, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Ich beichte (DE)
  • I Confess (1952) (CA)
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