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
Edna May Wonacott, who plays young Ann Newton, and Estelle Jewell, who plays Charlie's friend, Catherine, were both locals of Santa Rosa, where the film was shot on location. Many of the film's extras were also locals of the town, which was too far away from Hollywood to be affected by Actors Guild guidelines demanding the use of professional actors. See more »
When Charlie and Charlotte are waiting to cross the street a young boy in the crowd is standing immediately behind them. After they cross the street the same boy, wearing different clothes, comes around the corner and passes them. See more »
I got in the habit of carrying a lot of cash with me when I was traveling.
Dangerous habit, Mr. Oakley.
Never lost a penny in my life, Mr. Green. I guess heaven takes care of fools and scoundrels.
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Having seen about thirty (30) of Hitchcock's films, this is the first time I've had any complaints. This film was not bad, but certainly not one of Hitch's best. It was oddly choppy and hard to follow, far too slow, and not mysterious enough. Worst of all, there was NO "shadow" of a doubt. We are lead to believe with 'certainty' that the suspect is the killer! In short, the movie was frustrating for two reasons:
1) The characters seemed oblivious to the plot. There was no chance for any of them to catch a killer. This certainly added to the tension, but not to the realism. There are ways of making suspects talk, but the characters never employed any of them. For me, what should have been suspense, just ended up as frustration. Maybe I'm missing something, but characters have to be intelligent, not just suspicious.
2) Secondly, this movie was way too similar to THE LODGER (1926). Having seen THE LODGER first, it was hard to sit through this one. Both stories involve a suspected merciless killer living in an ordinary family home. The stories are so similar in fact, that they could probably share the same title. Unfortunately, this movie takes something away from THE LODGER, a remarkable first effort and one of Hitch's most intense films. Anyone who views SHADOW prior to LODGER is making a grave mistake. There are just too many similarities for both movies to grab your attention and pull you in.
Alas, I found SHADOW OF A DOUBT to be just average, based on its redundancy. The ending was entertaining, but overall it was hard to watch. Slow at first, with ignorant characters and poor editing, I have to give this one an average score: 6 out of 10. Had this movie been entitled "The Lodger", I would probably bump it up to an 8, taking an average of the two. If you are looking for Hitchcock recommendations, please see REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO, REBECCA, THE ROPE, and THE LODGER. These are my top five. Thanks.
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