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A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
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
Teresa Wright did not read the script before agreeing to sign on for the film. Alfred Hitchcock described the plot to her in a meeting and she agreed to take on the part immediately. See more »
The train carrying Uncle Charlie to Santa Rosa, at first has a number 140 on the side and on a tag in front. As it pulls into the station, the front tag has disappeared, and the number on the side has changed to 142. See more »
This is one of Hitch's best with images full of suspense , drama and tension
Handsome and uncomplicated uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten)has come to visit his family in Santa Rosa, returning to home town after longer absence. Although he seems a good man, his young niece (Teresa Wright)slowly comes to aware he is a wanted merry widow killer and he comes to recognize her malignant suspicions. The suspicious uncle Charlie gradually becoming stronger and mysterious. Meantime two detectives (Mcdonald Carey and Wallace Ford) are investigating. Further developments ensure an exciting climax on train.
From the story by Gordon McConnell, the picture gets unlimited suspense in crescendo, tense, full of lingering frames and with the typical touches Hitchcock. Besides a literately and thoughtful dialog signed by Thornton Wilder and Alma Reville (Hitchcock's usual screenwriter and wife) though lacking humor . After his successful British films as ¨39 steps¨ and ¨Jamaica Inn¨ , Hitch was encouraged to go to America and promptly shot his first work in Hollywood hired by the great producer David O'Selznick ; later on he directed this excellent picture . Fine performance by Joseph Cotten as sunny and cynic uncle Charlie . Teresa Wright as shy and glad young is superb and enjoyable . Likable couple formed by Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn in his film debut , booth of whom speaking continuously about murders. And of course cameo role by Alfred Hitchcock , this time as a man on train playing cards. Atmospheric and perceptible music by the maestro Dimitri Tiomkin, including piano sounds . Sensational visual style in black and white cinematography by the cameraman by Joseph Valentine . This interesting movie is brilliantly directed by the Master Hitchcock, resulting to be his favorite personal. It's remade in 1958 in quite inferior remake titled ¨Step down to terror¨ by Harry Keller with Charles Drake, Rod Taylor,Jocelyn Brando and Josephine Hutchinson, furthermore a lousy Television movie. The motion picture is indispensable watching for Hithcock lovers achieving the maximum impact on his audience. Rating : Very good, engrossing and essential viewing.
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