Shadow of a DoubtThe Movie…

I’ve been trying to brush up on classics lately. In doing so, I found a pretty awesome Hitchcock DVD box on Amazon and ordered it immediately. So now, I’ve been watching Hitchcock movies – in chronological order. I have to say: they’re not all good, but if they’re good, they’re great!

Shadow of a Doubt follows the adventures of Charlie and Charlie – one of them being the uncle-from-the-city, the other being the small-town-niece. The uncle, a nervous wreck, decides to take a trip to his niece and her family into the country. Why exactly he wants to do so, is a mystery that slowly gets unraveled into a thick plot of epic proportions.

The movie is from 1942, but bears almost no resemblence to another Hitchcock movie made during the second World War: Saboteur. Sure, there is a good mystery plot in there, but the scope of Shadow of a Doubt is so much smaller – which makes it into a much better, much more concentrated film. Everyone can write a conspiracy plot – it’s become a genre by itself in the USA – but a small family drama… you need to get the characters just right for that, and that’s exactly where Shadow of a Doubt succeeds: Wonderful characters going through great evolutions.

The movie looks (and sounds – great use of walzes) brilliant – even back then, Hitchcock already made some shots that made my mouth water with esthetic delight. I love how Shadow of a Doubt makes the best of the framework it’s in – something I’ve rarely seen in movies from that age. Put all the pieces together and the whole starts feeling like a typical Hitchcockian nightmare. Slightly surreal but real enough to drag you in.

In all…Shadow of a Doubt

The bottomline is: if you want to see a Hitchcock movie and you’ve never seen one, this one is pretty good as a starter. I myself started with Vertigo (which I will review sometime), but the symbolism and freakiness got lost on me because I didn’t know enough about the creator’s signature. Shadow of a Doubt is a bit less to look at, but everything is there (and counts in small amounts).

Favourite Quote:
Joseph Newton: We’re not talking about killing people. Herb’s talking about killing me and I’m talking about killing him.


Recommended Posts


I was 13 when a friend of mine gave me a single copied CD-rom that said “Fallout”. My PC was terrible, it could barely run the game, but god damn if I wasn’t completely engrossed in that isometric RPG set in a […]


One of the things I miss here in Germany (or in most of Europe for that matter) is the holy grail of television: The 30 minute comedy. Sure, everyone fawns over Succession or Breaking Bad or whatever high-profile high-stakes drama is coming […]


Liebe Layla, wie geht es dir? Wir haben uns lange nicht mehr gesehen, und ich war zufällig spazieren im Duttmannkiez und dann bin ich zufällig an deine Wohnung vorbei und habe zufällig auf dem Klingelschild gesehen, dass du da immer noch wohnst.  […]