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Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 38,511 users  
Reviews: 213 user | 117 critic

A young woman discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" may not be the man he seems to be.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Macdonald Carey ...
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Patricia Collinge ...
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Wallace Ford ...
Edna May Wonacott ...
Charles Bates ...
Irving Bacon ...
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Janet Shaw ...
Estelle Jewell ...
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | visit | murderer | suspect | california | See more »

Taglines:

A Blast of DRAMATIC Dynamite exploded right before your eyes!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shadow of Doubt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 11, 1946 with Joseph Cotten reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

At the first dinner in the Newton home, Young Charlie is humming the "Merry Widow Waltz," she identifies it as the work of Victor Herbert. It was written by Franz Lehar, but no one disagrees with the Herbert attribution. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Charlie: How was church, Charlie? Did you count the house? Turn anybody away?
Young Charlie: No. Room enough for everyone.
Uncle Charlie: Well, I'm glad to hear that. The show's been running such a long time, I thought maybe attendance might be falling off.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Merry Widow Waltz
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
In the score throughout the movie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hitchcock's first masterpiece
7 November 2006 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Shadow of a Doubt is perhaps Hitchcock's first real masterpiece - a more mature film than The 39 Steps or Rebecca. It is also incidentally his favorite of his own films. The sleepy town of Santa Rosa is far removed from the very real events of WW-2, events that figured at least a mention if not a central influence on most films of that period. Hitchcock's Rear Window and Vertigo were also far removed from the realities of the Cold War and the Communist Witch-Hunts of the 50's.

Shadow is taut with sexual tension - the incestuous overtones of the mental affinity of niece and uncle Charlie, the lusty infatuations of Charlie's teenage friend Catherine, and Herb, who just happens to be around the corner where ever we see Charlie. Charlie, the niece, is played by Teresa Wright in one of Hitchcock's best female performances. She is very warm, innocent and genuinely good-natured - completely unlike Hitch's usual icy blonds. I have always found Joseph Cotten to be quite inexpressive. He is slightly better than his usual self and is believable in charming and winning over the small town-folk.

This is probably Hitchcock's only film with a strong human core, coupled with his well-known skills as a master technician. What other director of the era could have revealed the murderer at the start of the film and still maintained tension and a lingering unease throughout. Shadow of a Doubt is a precursor to the menace of Blue Velvet and the sexual tensions of American Beauty - and stays with you much longer than either of them.


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