Shadow of a Doubt (1943)



Critic Consensus: Alfred Hitchcock's earliest classic -- and his own personal favorite -- deals its flesh-crawling thrills as deftly as its finely shaded characters.

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his is about the relationship between Uncle Charlie and his niece. He seems to be a good man on the surface, however, secrets about him soon become revealed to his niece and she will need to make choices that could end up destroying the whole family.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures

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Joseph Cotten
as Uncle Charlie
Teresa Wright
as Charlie
Hume Cronyn
as Herbie Hawkins
Macdonald Carey
as Jack Graham
Wallace Ford
as Fred Saunders
Clarence Muse
as Railroad Porter
John McGuire
as Detective
Henry Travers
as Joseph Newton
Irving Bacon
as Station Master
Patricia Collinge
as Emma Newton
Shirley Mills
as Young Girl
Sarah Edwards
as Doctor's Wife on Train
Minerva Urecal
as Mrs. Henderson
Edwin Stanley
as Mr. Green
Grandon Rhodes
as Rev. MacCurdy
Eily Malyon
as Librarian
Isabel Randolph
as Mrs. Green
Ruth Lee
as Mrs. MacCurdy
Virginia Brissac
as Mrs. Phillip
Vaughan Glaser
as Dr. Phillip
Janet Shaw
as Louise
Byron Shores
as Detective
Edward Fielding
as Doctor on Train
Charles Bates
as Roger Newton
Edna May Wonacott
as Ann Newton
Frances Carson
as Mrs. Poetter
Constance Purdy
as Mrs. Martin
Charley Bates
as Roger Newton
Earle Dewey
as Mr. Norton
Estelle Jewell
as Girl Friend
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Critic Reviews for Shadow of a Doubt

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6)

Peels back the welcoming warmth and sincere innocence of small-town life to reveal the gullibility and the naïveté underneath; it's a fiction about the perpetuation of fictions.

Full Review… | December 3, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

A superb film.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Alfred Hitchcock's first indisputable masterpiece.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Hitchcock deftly etches his small-town characters and homey surroundings.

Full Review… | June 9, 2008
Top Critic

One of Hitchcock's finest films of the '40s.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

You've got to hand it to Alfred Hitchcock: when he sows the fearful seeds of mistrust in one of his motion pictures he can raise more goose pimples to the square inch of a customer's flesh than any other director of thrillers in Hollywood.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shadow of a Doubt


The title's doubt grows in us much before it is planted inside the character's mind halfway through this superbly-written story, which is a testament to how this tense, suspenseful mystery is slowly and carefully built in what is one of Hitchcock's most steadily-paced thrillers.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Interesting older movie. Good characters and well made. The initial relationship between the two Charlie's was slightly disturbing. Lol. Could be just how my mind works though. I would say this was a more innocent time, but perhaps not when all is revealed. The annoying younger sister was amusing and the young Charlie was quite endearing also. Black and white always looks so stylish too.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Hitchcock made so many brilliant films in his long career that it's easy to overlook certain gems among showier works like Psycho, Vertigo and The Birds, yet in its quiet, unassuming way, Shadow of a Doubt is as perfect as anything the master ever made. I don't necessarily cite it as a fault - indeed, he often uses it to advantage - but there is certainly much in Hitchcock that is artificial and studio-bound. Here, however, by effectively casting (then) small-town America as a central character in the drama and opting to shoot on location in Santa Rosa, California, Hitchcock achieves with Shadow of a Doubt a vividness of setting virtually unparalleled elsewhere in his oeuvre, possible exceptions being the San Francisco of Vertigo or the Covent Garden of Frenzy. This might also be Hitchcock's most perfectly cast movie, with even the most minor of characters perfectly realised. Joseph Cotton is cast superbly against type as the charismatic wolf in sheep's clothing, Uncle Charlie, but the heart and soul of the picture is the beautifully judged performance of Teresa Wright as Charlie's adoring niece and namesake. I would personally rank the adorable Miss Wright as my favourite heroine in all of Hitchcock.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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