A young girl, overjoyed when her favorite uncle comes to visit the family, slowly begins to suspect that he is in fact the "Merry Widow" killer sought by the authorities.


Alfred Hitchcock


Thornton Wilder (screenplay), Sally Benson (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Teresa Wright ... Charlie Newton
Joseph Cotten ... Charlie Oakley
Macdonald Carey ... Jack Graham
Henry Travers ... Joseph Newton
Patricia Collinge ... Emma Newton
Hume Cronyn ... Herbie Hawkins
Wallace Ford ... Fred Saunders
Edna May Wonacott Edna May Wonacott ... Ann Newton
Charles Bates ... Roger Newton
Irving Bacon ... Station Master
Clarence Muse ... Pullman Porter
Janet Shaw ... Louise Finch
Estelle Jewell Estelle Jewell ... Catherine


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 travelled 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


The Screen's Sensational Emotional Star....and the Master Director of "Rebecca", "Suspicion"...uniting their rare talents in the trill-shattering story of a girl in terror of her secret life! (Print Ad- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 29 January 1943) See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Italian dubbing of this movie was made in Spain during World War II. Since no young Italian actors were available, the two youngest members of the Newton family ended up with very noticeable Spanish accents. See more »


When Charlie is leaving the bank president's office Mr. Green is in the background standing behind his desk. He is striped with Venetian blind shadows and his chair has a low rounded back. A moment earlier a close up of Mr. Green shows no such shadows and his chair has a high squarish back. See more »


Young Charlie: Poor Mother. She works like a dog. Just like a dog.
Joseph Newton: Where is she?
Young Charlie: She's out. When she comes back, it'll be the same thing. Dinner, then dishes, then bed. I don't see how she stands it.
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Referenced in Bates Motel: Shadow of a Doubt (2014) See more »


The Merry Widow Waltz
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
In the score throughout the movie
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User Reviews

Joseph Cotten in One of His Finest Performances
8 February 2011 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A young woman (Teresa Wright) discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" (Joseph Cotten) may not be the man he seems to be.

This is classic Hitchcock, and one of Joseph Cotten's finest roles, which is quite a compliment considering how great Cotten is/was. He is dark, misanthropic, misogynistic, and keeps you guessing. That is the beauty of this film: you will debate with yourself Charlie's true identity (maybe he really is who he says he is).

The film has a good deal of suspense, and solid performances from everyone involved. I do not think this is one of Hitchcock's most well-known films, and I am sorry about that. For me, it ranks above "Rebecca" in his catalog. Really a fine film and worth seeing again.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 January 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadow of Doubt See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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