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The best courtroom movie ever made!
Often underrated Hitchcock thriller. Imbued with darkness, atmosphere and symbolic imagery this is a work of art studying guilt and conscience. Superb.
Even though it lacks the suspense that other Hitchcock movies have, I found the dilemma that I Confess revolves around fascinating.
I Confess is a riveting drama with a powerful performance by Montgomery Clift as a man having a serious moral & theological crisis. O.E. Hasse also does a wonderful job as the antagonist, needling Father Logan when he feels he has the upper hand. Aside from a few minor missteps, this is a top-tier Hitchcock thriller.
A man murders his employer and then confesses the murder to Catholic priest Montgomery Clift. Clift and old girlfriend Anne Baxter have a connection to the murdered man and end up being implicated by cop Karl Malden. Clift cannot defend himself against the charges without breaking the seal of confession. The best word to describe this Hitchcock film is "adequate". The cast all do a good job, but there's no suspense or mystery in this plot. It does engage with the moral quandary of having to break your word to defend yourself, but it doesn't engage with it very actively.
I Confess is a winner, but it is a quiet, understated mystery drama rather than the high-tension thriller of Hitchcock's greatest work. It has the structure of a whodunit, but the movie is really about some big adult themes: the sanctity of vows; friendship; loyalty; religious versus secular allegiance. It is a beautifully shot film, with good performances from Anne Baxter and OE Hasse, and great ones from Karl Malden and Montgomery Clift.
Another fine film by Hitchcock. Here a priest knows the identity of a man who murdered someone they mutually know via a confession and refuses to turn him in even as he goes to trial for the crime.
I Confess, like some Hitchcock movies, has a concept that is more intriguing than its execution. The casting is good with talented heartthrob Montgomery Clift delivering a fine performance as a priest who becomes a key witness in a murder by association- that is to say that he cannot break the holy code of confidentiality in the confession box. The story doesn't seem as compelling and thrilling as it should be and although it is certainly a solid film, Hitch had some magic to come when he made a more decisive switch to technicolour with Dial M For Murder.
Monty Clift as a priest sounds like the start of a great sex dream but as it turns out this legal drama is actually quite thrilling in other ways too!
Hitchcock had me yelling at the screen, "Just tell them!" the whole time so yeah...I think he did it right.
Hitchcock valued highly the emotive capability of the human face. He never did a simple shot-reverse-shot when he filmed dialogue. Takes were always long, reactions were vital to his structure, and everything is intentional.
We learn about the inner workings of a given moment by the expression of the actor or actress therein. Faces are the language of cinema, and clearly Hitch knew that.
On the level of story, we don't have to do much chasing; we aren't on the edge of our seat much. In that sense, I was a little bit disappointed. However, on a technical level, this is truly brilliant. There's a purposeful drive behind every shot, every cut, every movement.
With all that being said, this isn't one of Hitchcock's best, but it is memorable nonetheless.