Shadow of a Doubt Reviews
A reasonably intriguing Alfred Hitchcock crime drama. In typical Hitchcock fashion it unfolds slowly and deliberately, incrementally revealing just enough to keep you watching, while building up to a tense climax.
Not among Hitchcock's best though. The build-up is perhaps too slow here. In addition, despite the title, there is not really that much doubt about whether Uncle Charlie is involved in the crimes, so the possibilities with regard to the outcome are limited. The conclusion thus feels a touch inevitable, though there are a few other ways it could have gone (however, none of these would have been as exciting or complete).
I considered a slightly higher rating, but thought the pace in the first half of the movie was a little slow. Some of the tension is also missing because we're pretty darn sure Uncle Charlie is guilty. On the other hand, there is a real small town feeling to this setting, helped in no doubt by Thornton Wilder being one of the screenwriters, and the characters of Charlie's father (Henry Travers) and his friend (Hume Cronyn) passing the time by talking about the perfect murder are absolutely priceless. The second half, including the increasing revelation of Uncle Charlie's dark views of humanity and the lengths to which he will go to protect himself, is what make the film so sinister. As the movie came out during WWII, it seems to have a direct parallel to the evil leaders loose in the world, particularly in the film's final scene.
Intense and well acted, Shadow of a Doubt's story proves that even the most peaceful places can become dangerous.