Sunday, August 13, 2006


Since I became a dog owner, not a day has passed where I haven't been up by 6 or so to walk the dogs. While I do dream of some rainy day staying in bed until 8, there is some advantage to being up early. This morning drinking coffee after our walk, I discovered an Alfred Hitchcock movie I've never seen on Encore - "A Shadow of a Doubt" - described by Netflix as: "Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock directed this tale about Charlie (Teresa Wright), a small-town girl consumed with finding out whether her unhinged Uncle (Joseph Cotton) is a serial killer. The arrival of detectives and a murder-infatuated neighbor (Hume Cronyn) only increase Charlie's paranoia. Tension builds as she draws closer to the truth, and in classic Hitchcock style, the film culminates in a nail-biting scene aboard a speeding train."

I personally don't find that blood and violence add much to the enjoyment of a movie, and Hitchcock is the finest director at creating tension and fear with neither. In "Shadow", Charlie imagines that her charming, but edgy, uncle, the always superb Joseph Cotton, is the "Merry Widow Murderer" preying on rich widows, a class of women he clearly scorns. (Hitchcock's male leads frequently have a streak of misogyny in them.) It suddenly seems to Charlie that her seemingly normal, middle class family is obsessed with killing, and she finds clues to murder at every turn. Charlie ends up in the middle, getting wooed by a detective into helping the police catch her uncle, and assisting the uncle to get out of town to avoid family embarassment - it would just "kill" her mother to find out her brother is a serial killer. Then another suspect is killed during the police pursuit - - but did he do it? Or did Charlie's uncle? And is he now trying to kill Charlie?

Oh, and Charlie's father is played by the actor who played Clarence the Angel in "It's a Wonderful Life".

Addendum - apparently it is Hitchcock's birthday, and Encore Mystery is showing a Hitchcock marathon.

1 Comments:

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