Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Rankin, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi - Just got done watching this film (my first time) and all I can say is WOW!! Very good film. When major releases such as last year's Rear Window or Criterion's Notorious come around I generally don't pipe in because it's obvious they are masterpieces, but when a lesser known film comes along and blows my socks off I feel like I gotta get it off my chest!!
    Is it me or is Joseph Cotten the most downplayed actor from the golden age of Hollywood?? This guy is amazing - he is a very affable, charming guy who turns into a snake at the drop of a dime - absolutely riveting performance given by him. Traver's and Cronyn's comedic side story had me in stitches - it's very rare when an older film like this can make me burst out laughing - a lot of humor from that time goes right over my head - or seems kind of corny because of the "slang" they used. Teresa Wright's performance as a wide-eyed innocent girl who learns the awful adult truth that things are never what they seem was extremely convincing.
    What struck me about this film was there was no one "star" performance - rather an ensemble cast that skillfully tells a great story about evil in small town America. As for the dvd it's really nothing special - kind of limited as far as extra's go - it's got kind of a neat documentary talking about the film, but no commentary. As far as video and audio go, I am not an expert nor claim to be - but there was no distractions for me while I watched it. I loved the opening Universal sequence which feature Hitchcock "bytes" exclusively. If you are a casual Hitchcock fan and are sitting on the fence on this one - do yourself a favor and add it to your collection.
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Hitchcock himself always stated that "Shadow of a Doubt" was his personal favorite movie. It usually ranks high on most critical reviews of Hitch's movies, but for some reason hasn't penetrated the radar of most casual Hitchcock fans. This is easily one of my favorite Hitch movies and that has much to do with the performance of Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright.
    I don't remember if they mention this little story in the documentary or not. The studio sent out scouts to find the perfect house for the movie and after finding it and signing a contract with the owner, the owner in turn fixed up the house and re-painted it. When the crew showed up for the first day of filming they were apalled to find that it wasn't what they were looking for and had to dingy up the place a bit and pay the owner to fix it all after filming was complete.
    I wish that Universal would have included commentary tracks on all of the Hitch movies, it would have easily made them worth more money in my book. I love the documentaries, but I would gladly trade the best documentary for an intelligent well planned commentary track.
     
  3. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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