Charlotte 'Charlie' Newton is bored with her quiet life at home with her parents and her younger sister. She wishes something exciting would happen and knows exactly what they need: a visit from her sophisticated and much traveled uncle Charlie Oakley, her mother's younger brother. Imagine her delight when, out of the blue, they receive a telegram from uncle Charlie announcing that he is coming to visit them for awhile. Charlie Oakley creates quite a stir and charms the ladies club as well as the bank president where his brother-in-law works. Young Charlie begins to notice some odd behavior on his part, such as cutting out a story in the local paper about a man who marries and then murders rich widows. When two strangers appear asking questions about him, she begins to imagine the worse about her dearly beloved uncle Charlie. Written by
Uncle Charlie arrived in Santa Rosa on August 22 or 23, 1942: the headlines in the paper were "Brazil Declares War", which had happened on August 22. However, there are also two clues that point to the film being set in pre-Pearl Harbor America (prior to Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the United States in the Pacific, bringing the U.S. into World War II). In the first dinner scene after Uncle Charlie's arrival, he presents gifts to the Newton family, including a pair of photos of their parents to Mrs. Newton, his sister. She remarks that the photos were made in 1888, and her son exclaims "Fifty-three years ago!" That would make the year 1941, not 1942. Also, when Uncle Charlie and his niece visit her father's bank, there's a sign on a teller's cage urging customers to "Buy Defense Bonds!" U.S. government bonds were renamed "War Bonds" after Dec. 7, 1941; "Defense Bonds" were sold prior to that date. The "Brazil Declares War" headline probably reflects a news story contemporary with the shooting of the movie, but it's in the wrong time frame for the action of the story itself. See more »
When Uncle Charlie leaves his room, the two men outside follow him. A shot from above shows them with very short shadows, showing that is around noon. They separate for a short while and when they meet, their shadows are much longer, though not enough time has passed for it to be that much later. See more »
Honestly, Father, you'd think Mother had never seen a phone. She has no faith in science. She thinks she has to cover the distance by sheer lung power.
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The ultimate master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock directed his fascinating masterpiece "Shadow of a doubt" at the age of 44 and it was a terrific improvement after the classic "Saboteur" which was definitely a great Hitch movie too, don't get me wrong here. Could it be more simple: this one just had a perfect story that really touched the audience and the whole wicked idea of finding out you have a killer uncle is most exciting when you think of it. It could happen to anybody, I'm sure. No wonder this was one of Hitchcock's own personal favorites. "Shadow of a doubt" may not be the finest Hitchcock-movie of the 40's, though. I admit I haven't seen all of them but I think "Rope" was ever better and "Spellbound" at least just as marvelous but it's safe to say this is one of the most stylish Hitchcock-movies of the decade. What a shame Joseph Cotten never became a bigger star because his powerful performance was one of the most memorable elements of the film.
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