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DonRocks

"Shadow of a Doubt" (1943), Director Alfred Hitchcock's Uncharacteristically Languid Crime Thriller, Produced by Jack H. Skirball

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I watched this film recently, and enjoyed it while at the same time, thought it didn't represent what I "normally" think about Alfred Hitchcock as a Director. A friend and I recently watched Hitchcock being interviewed, and he acknowledged (at that time) that this was his favorite film, and we figured out he was referring to "in terms of technical, cinematic aspects" - remember, this is the era of "Citizen Kane" (1941), which seems very dated, and in parts almost boring, but in the early 1940s, some of the cinematic devices used were groundbreaking, and Hitchcock was undoubtedly proud of incorporating modern cinematographic technique into "Shadow of a Doubt.

I'd like to jump up-and-down, screaming, 'Watch 'Shadow of a Doubt!'", but I recommend this film for people wanting to peel a layer off of Hitchcock's media-bound reputation, helping to expose him for more of an avant-garde director than he's given credit for being - no, Hitchcock isn't avant-garde but the man wasn't some formulaic weaver of yarns, either - he had plenty of tricks up his sleeve, and used them.

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I appreciate this film for its cutting edge (at the time) cinematography, but overall, I found it boring. Unlike some Hitchcock films, this one seemed dated. The references to the "Merry Widow" song went over my head, and one scene, featuring a marriage proposal, was laughably corny. The ending seemed over the top to me as well.

I liked the film, but there are other movies I would recommend before it to someone interested in watching an entertaining psychological thriller. The acting, however, was very good, particularly Joseph Cotten as Uncle Charlie, the perfectly charming villain.

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