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
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 »
When Uncle Charlie first greets the Newton family at the train station, Charlotte's arm is around Ann's shoulders but switches to her side in a close up and switches again to being on her shoulders. See more »
In one of his most chilling and memorable intrigues Alfred Hitchcock lays bare the myth of small town virtue with a perverse piece of Americana about a wholesome family unaware of the gruesome skeleton lurking in its closet. The arrival of everyone's much loved Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton, in his favorite role) is the catalyst to disaster, with eldest daughter Charlie in particular welcoming the arrival of her affectionate namesake as a relief from the humdrum routine of suburban life. But evidence soon begins to suggest the elder Charles might actually be a cold-blooded serial killer, and a lethal game of charades begins between uncle and niece: she knows the truth, and he knows that she knows the truth. The tension builds to an alarming climax, in a trademark sequence (another one for the Hitchcock highlight reel) showing the Master of Suspense at the top of his form. The film was shot in sunny Santa Rosa, California, where the shadows are darker because the sunlight is so much brighter.
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