Friday, 18 July 2014

Shadow of a Doubt (4 Stars)

I guess Heaven takes care of fools and scoundrels.

20 years after making "Shadow of a Doubt" Alfred Hitchcock claimed that it was his favourite film. It was made in 1943, but shows no evidence of the war being in progress, so it can be assumed that it was set a few years earlier.

The film is about two Charlies. Charlotte is the oldest of three children who live with their parents in Santa Rosa, California. Charles is her favourite uncle, who has been living in New York. Old Charlie comes to stay with the family, as he intends to move back to Santa Rosa. The whole family, especially Young Charlie, is glad to see him, but he has a secret. He's running away from something.

 I wonder what happened to Estelle Jewell, shown in the middle of the picture above as one of Young Charlie's friends from school. This was the only film she ever made, but the few scenes that she appears in are memorable. She has the habit of looking at men's crotches when she talks to them. In the above scene, when she walked away she brushed against the older man. This is typical for the subtle sexual titillation that Hitchcock liked to hide in his films. So subtle that if anyone criticised him he could deny it and say that it was accidental.

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