SHADOW OF A DOUBT
A film by Alfred Hitchcock
1943/ USA/ 108 min
13th Dec, 2015; 5.45pm; Perks Mini Theater
Screening starts exactly at 5.45 pm with a documentary on Hitchcock
Shadow of a Doubt is a disturbing and relentlessly modern look at the corruption of small town American life. In an era when the movies all but had to portray only positive images of this country, Alfred Hitchcock was testing the limits of decency and morality as defined by Hollywood’s Production Code. Hitchcock takes the all-American family and introduces malice so true it consumes.
The horror is, of course, Uncle Charlie. He visits his sister and her family in Santa Rosa, California, and develops a strange relationship with his niece, Charlotte, affectionately referred to as Charlie in honor of her uncle. She soon suspects her Uncle Charlie of being the Merry Widow murderer and is plunged into turmoil over her family obligations and the vulgarity of his acts.
When we’re first introduced to the Newton family, it’s a kind of clichéd look at bucolic family life. Everybody is nice and genteel and pleasant. This might appear dated when we, less as Americans and more as human begins, know that this isn’t the reality of daily life. But the light atmosphere Hitchcock cultivates in the film’s early scenes heightens the dark aspects of the story to follow, dark like the column of smoke snaking behind Uncle Charlie’s train.
Ultimately, Shadow of a Doubt remains one of Hitchcock’s best movies because it is a clear example of the director’s sense of the world. From out of the censored studio era, it’s refreshing that an artist could commit to celluloid a personal, cynical voice. Nothing, it seems, is as it should be in a Hitchcock film. While his films are certainly nail biters, the reason Hitchcock was so great was because he understood the human condition and its flaws. (Source: Internet)
Alfred Hitchcock is known to his audiences as the 'Master of Suspense' and what Hitchcock mastered was not only the art of making films but also the task of taming his own raging imagination. Director of such works as Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and The 39 steps, Hitchcock told his stories through intelligent plots witty dialogue and a spoonful of mystery and murder. In doing so, he inspired a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the thriller genre, making him a legend around the world. His brilliance was sometimes too bright: He was hated as well as loved, oversimplified as well as over analyzed. Hitchcock was eccentric, demanding, inventive, impassioned and he had a great sense of British humor.
His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of them which also made him famous in the USA. David O. Selznick, an American producer at the time, got in touch with Hitchcock and the Hitchcock family moved to the USA to direct an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1940). It was when Saboteur (1942) was made, that films companies began to call his films after him; such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy.He retired soon after making Family Plot (1976).In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep