Shadow of a Doubt (1943) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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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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Movie Info

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.

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Cast

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

December 3, 2012 | Full Review…

A superb film.

April 24, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Alfred Hitchcock's first indisputable masterpiece.

April 24, 2009 | Full Review…

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

June 10, 2008 | Full Review…

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

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

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.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shadow of a Doubt

½

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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