IMDb > I Confess (1953)
I Confess
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I Confess (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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I Confess -- Refusing to give into police investigators' questions of suspicion, due to the seal of confession, a priest becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   11,828 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
George Tabori (screen play) and
William Archibald (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for I Confess on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 March 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
FILMED IN CANADA'S COLORFUL QUEBEC BY WARNER BROS. (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
Refusing to give into police investigators' questions of suspicion, due to the seal of confession, a priest becomes the prime suspect in a murder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Superior, if not superlative Hitchcock See more (94 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Montgomery Clift ... Father Michael Logan

Anne Baxter ... Ruth Grandfort

Karl Malden ... Inspector Larrue

Brian Aherne ... Willy Robertson
O.E. Hasse ... Otto Keller (as O. E. Hasse)
Roger Dann ... Pierre Grandfort
Dolly Haas ... Alma Keller
Charles Andre ... Father Millars
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nan Boardman ... Maid (uncredited)

Henry Corden ... Det. Sgt. Farouche (uncredited)
Carmen Gingras ... 1st French Girl (uncredited)
Albert Godderis ... Nightwatchman (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man Crossing the Top of Long Staircase (uncredited)
Renée Hudon ... 2nd French Girl (uncredited)
Ovila Légaré ... Monsieur Villette (uncredited)
Gilles Pelletier ... Father Benoit (uncredited)
Judson Pratt ... Murphy (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
George Tabori (screen play) and
William Archibald (screen play)

Paul Anthelme (from a play by)

Produced by
Sidney Bernstein .... producer (uncredited)
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Rudi Fehr 
 
Art Direction by
Ted Haworth  (as Edward S. Haworth)
John Beckman (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Agnes Flanagan .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Sherry Shourds .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Alvarado .... assistant director (as Don Page)
C. Carter Gibson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Eddie Edwards .... props (uncredited)
Ben L. Goldman .... props (uncredited)
Robert B. Greene .... painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
O.H. Hudson .... boom (uncredited)
O.H. Hudson .... boom operator (uncredited)
Eugene F. Westfall .... recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Richard C. Smith .... effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Albin .... still photographer (uncredited)
George Bennett .... electrician (uncredited)
Donald O. Cedergren .... grip (uncredited)
Joseph H. Daegle .... grip (uncredited)
Everett Dexter .... grip (uncredited)
Gibby Germaine .... best boy (uncredited)
Van Mathews .... electrician (uncredited)
Harold Noyes .... grip (uncredited)
Joe O'Connell .... electrician (uncredited)
Wallace Pade .... grip (uncredited)
William H. Phillips .... generator operator (uncredited)
Walter Robinson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
George Satterfield .... gaffer (uncredited)
William Schurr .... camera operator (uncredited)
Fred Sealock .... electrician (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Kenneth B. Taylor .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Orry-Kelly .... wardrobe
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Ted Kring .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Elva Martien .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Martine .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ray Heindorf .... musical director
Dimitri Tiomkin .... conductor
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Harry Allison .... driver (uncredited)
Kenneth Greene .... driver (uncredited)
Harry Zubrinsky .... transportation gaffer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Barbara Keon .... production associate
Paul LaCouline .... technical advisor (as Father Paul LaCouline)
Carl P. Benoit .... location manager (uncredited)
Charles Bonniwell .... location auditor (uncredited)
Marvin Margulies .... assistant location auditor (uncredited)
Rita Michaels .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Victor Peers .... general manager (uncredited)
Oliver Tangvay .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures) (as A Warner Bros.- First National Picture also)
DistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's 'I Confess!'" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Brazil:16 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1953) | Peru:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1995) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2004) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #16036) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film is based on the 1902 play "Nos deux consciences" by Paul Anthelme, but little is known about any production of the play. Anthelme was a journalist who also wrote under the name Paul Bourde.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: While Ruth waits for her husband beside the door of the city council, a thin old man enters and walks until the desk and then disappears between shots.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Fr. Michael William Logan:Who's there?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Oh, Woe Is Me (1993)See more »
Soundtrack:
Love, Look What You've Done To MeSee more »

FAQ

Hedda Hopper---What Did She Write About "I Confess"?
Montgomery Clift---When Was He Signed by Hitch?
See more »
44 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Superior, if not superlative Hitchcock, 23 July 2000
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

It's never been satisfactorily explained why this wasn't a commercial success. It's not a bad film. Nor is it good in an inaccessible way. Hitchcock's explanations for its failure aren't at all convincing... Non-Catholics don't know about the seal of confession, he said; they can't believe that a priest will sacrifice his freedom and career just to keep a secret. Rubbish. They can and they do. EVERYONE knows about the seal of confession, and Montgomery Clift makes Father Logan's sacrifice perfectly plausible. (Besides, I've never had much time for the objection that a lead character is "too good".) The one thing some people don't know about the seal of confession is that the priest can't mention the sin even to the guilty party, but this is made clear enough in the film in one of the confrontations between Keller and Logan. (All such confrontations are excellent, by the way.) Hitchcock also complains that audiences missed the point by hoping for Logan to tell the police what he knows, a complaint which betrays a misunderstanding of audience psychology. We NEVER hope that the hero will "get out of jail" by doing something dishonourable or morally wrong; so long as there is some other way for the plot to be resolved, THAT'S what we're hoping for. Besides, it's obvious that Logan will never break his vows. Another reviewer says that Logan should simply say to the police: "The seal of confession prevents me from answering your questions"; but the film makes it clear he can't say even this. It would put the police on Keller's scent, and Logan feels - rightly or wrongly, but at any rate plausibly - that his vows force him to be genuinely silent, not nudge-nudge wink-wink silent. I'm on his side here. It's hard to feel much sympathy for the "I won't say who did it, but I WILL drop a hint" attitude adopted by the priests of modern police dramas.

So what IS wrong with "I Confess"? Too much "Teutonic[?] gravity", as some have alleged? "Not enough humour"? Please. those imposing shots of stony Quebec MAKE the film. And let's face it: Hitchcock isn't funny. Give me this kind of thing over the leaden levity of "North by Northwest" any day. No: the short answer is that there's NOTHING, or nothing to speak of, wrong with "I Confess"; certainly nothing that explains its unpopularity.

A few things weaken it a little. If Montgomery Clift plays one of Hitchcock's most likeable characters, Anne Baxter plays one of the least likeable ones; I found it hard not to hope that Ruth would fall into the sea, or walk in front of a bus, or induce a casual passer-by to strangle her. This is okay: the fact that she's irritating helps the story. All the same, her explanatory flashback DOES tend to drag, and one wishes her scenes could be speeded up a little. Then there's Dmitri Timokin's score. It's a fine score, in its way, but it DRONES. Tiomkin is never allowed to get a crescendo out of the orchestra; instead, the sound engineer turns up the volume every so often.

Not that any of this matters much. Overall it's one of Hitchcock's more engaging films. The worst that can be said of it is that it's not a masterpiece, nor is it among his very best. Try it if you think that all the critical carrying-on over such films as "Foreign Correspondent", "Notorious", "Strangers on a Train" and "North by Northwest" is a bit much, and you long for something that isn't so theory-driven.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for I Confess (1953)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
An attack on the Catholic Church? d-h-berry
Why did Malden's character suspect a priest from the start? vbachynsky
Hitcock pissed off at Quebec premiere!!! gauthierxavier
Anne v Monty cruisemama98
wheres alfred hitchcock? thomephan225
I Confess is a highly underrated film. DAMAGER7750
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