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Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Approved | | Thriller | 15 January 1943 (USA)
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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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Patricia Collinge ...
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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 worst about her dearly beloved uncle Charlie. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Blast of DRAMATIC Dynamite exploded right before your eyes!

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

15 January 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shadow of Doubt  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers assigned scouts to find an appropriate house to serve as a setting for the film in Santa Rosa, where the film was to be shot on location. Alfred Hitchcock had provided specific instructions that the house was to be nice, but somewhat worn-down to emphasize the Newton family's middle class background. The scouts selected the house which appears in the film, and Hitchcock was delighted by the photographs of their selection. The house was well-built with both a charming interior and exterior; however, it was an older house that was slightly out of fashion at the time, needed a few cosmetic repairs, had a bit of an overgrown lawn and garage area, and the exterior painting was faded and chipped. Hitchcock believed that the expensive and sturdy, but weathered and worn, look to the house would give the suggestion that the Newton family could be anyone, just the average American family in any average American town. Hitchcock gave the scouts the authority to rent the house from its owners as a temporary filming location, much to the owners' pride and delight. He was horrified, however, when he appeared at the house to begin filming. The owners, excited by the prospect of a major film being shot at their house, had freshly painted the entire house, manicured the lawn, and made a few repairs to the exterior. Hitchcock had to have his effects team artificially age the wear to the house and shoot around the owners' most-effective recent renovations. 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

Ann Newton: The ones that say they don't want anything always get more in the end.
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Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Psycho (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Merry Widow Waltz
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
In the score throughout the movie
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of his very best - I've loved it since I was a child!
5 November 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"Shadow of a Doubt" may only be listed as #181 on IMDb's "Top 250" list, but in my opinion it far outweighs some of the films higher up on that list and is one of Hitch's very best films.

Joseph Cotten plays Charlie, a crook on the run from the police. Left stranded and pursued, he decides to move in with his brother's family. His niece - who loves him and sees him as a sort of perfect role model

  • at first is excited that her Uncle Charlie is coming...but then


things start to get strange. Charlie acts oddly and, at times, violent. She begins to become suspicious of her uncle as he becomes more suspicious of her own awareness.

The ending of "Shadow of a Doubt" is classic Hitchcock and some of the best stuff he's done. The entire film is taut and suspenseful, well-filmed and realistic. It manages to focus on family ties and the struggles within the family itself while it also juggles the whole theme of an outcast family member.

In the end, however, it's just a nail-biting thriller that - now over sixty years old - still reigns as one of the absolute best of its genre.


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