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Author Topic: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)  (Read 2175 times)
Matt
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« on: December 03, 2018, 07:52:52 PM »

We finished up our original schedule, and are now into the first of our three Bonus Films.  Post anything you'd like to discuss about Shadow of a Doubt here.



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Doug
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 04:28:10 PM »

I think this was my bonus pick so I should comment. But what I'll do is quote what I wrote about it several years ago on another forum where it was picked as a "film noir." Nothing earth shattering about what I wrote, but anyway:

Shadow of a Doubt ... has always been one of my three favorite Hitchcock movies. Only the last time I watched it, I just didn't feel any connection to it. I thought maybe I'd seen it too many times and become jaded. But my love for it returned with this viewing. So that's good!

It has things about it not usually typical for a film by Hitch and I love those things. I love the location work and I wish he'd been more keen to shoot on location. Usually he couldn't wait to get any location shooting done so he could do the rest in a studio. Santa Rosa is really another character in the film. I like how there's no glamorous blond at the center of the film (not that I don't love many of the glamorous blonds he cast in his movies) and I like how there's no central romance, though a romance does develop later in the film.

The characters in the film are lively and all are perfectly cast. My favorite secondary character is easily the brainy little girl, and some of the best moments in the film are the conversations between the father and Herbert. The input they got from Thornton Wilder, author of Our Town, I think really added to the script. The movie is dang near perfect. As for it being a noir, I think you could look at Uncle Charlie as being something of a noir character in his cynicism and desperation, and in the way he plays with the detectives and manipulates his own family. And of course the way he spits on society's conventions. The scene in the bank is the perfect example. The second of the two really cynical speeches from Charlie:

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You think you know something, don't you? You think you're the clever little girl who knows something. There's so much you don't know, so much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares. Or did I? Or was it a silly, inexpert little lie? You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind. How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up, Charlie. Use your wits. Learn something.

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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2018, 10:18:49 PM »

I don't know what to really say about this film, but I wanted to chime in.

some of the best moments in the film are the conversations between the father and Herbert. The input they got from Thornton Wilder, author of Our Town, I think really added to the script.

I agree -- this was my favorite part of the film. It was  a needed bit of levity and was always fun when they'd appear and continue their twisted conversation.

I enjoyed the story, and agree that the casting was very good. I'm glad I got to watch Hitchcock's personal favorite film, but maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe it would be better after repeat viewings because I wasn't really in love with it. But, I did enjoy it.
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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 02:14:12 PM »

Shadow of a Doubt is in my top five favorite. I don't know if Joseph Cotten is talked about enough these days, but he really was a terrific actor and I love his performance in this.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 04:58:07 AM »

This was another film I got to watch from youtube and as a bonus I can get it through my tv.

I'd only seen this film once before I think so I couldn't remember anything about it. I enjoyed it although at times I thought the music score was more dramatic then what was happening on screen. At the beginning of the film when Joseph Cotton leaves the apartment and is followed by two men the music was so loud and over the top it was distracting.

And another Hitchcock film where train travel plays an important part. Overall I liked it and it kept me interested but not my favorite.
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