Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet realisation
Shadow of a doubt lacks the big scenes and stars of other Hitch films, but that's the point. This was the first of his US films to look at small town life & relationships in America, and in the way it's done it steals a march on many family dramas, both of film noir & later styles, including Blue Velvet. The use of perspective in the film helps you get inside the head of...
Published on 23 Feb 2004

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An atmospheric thriller from Hitchcock
The Newton family - mother, Emma (Patricia Collinge), father, Joseph (Henry Travers), and offspring Ann, Roger and young Charlie (Charlotte; Teresa Wright) - live in Santa Rosa, California. Joseph likes to read crime stories and discuss them with his friend Herbie Hawkins (Hume Cronyn). Emma's younger brother, Charlie Oakley (Joseph Cotton) decides to pay them a visit;...
Published on 12 Oct 2012 by Dr. H. A. Jones


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet realisation, 23 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
Shadow of a doubt lacks the big scenes and stars of other Hitch films, but that's the point. This was the first of his US films to look at small town life & relationships in America, and in the way it's done it steals a march on many family dramas, both of film noir & later styles, including Blue Velvet. The use of perspective in the film helps you get inside the head of young Charlie as she begins to understand the motives of her uncle Charlie(Joseph Cotten). Cotten, as ever was excellent in the natural way that Uncle Charlie at first seems, hiding out with the family. But as the movie progresses & he too begins to see his niece discover the dark past he really shines.Watch the scene with the car in the garage to see the depth in the piece.
This is not a horror film, but more shocking because the killer of the piece is for once someone's brother & uncle, not some deranged loner as in Thomas Harris. Yet the town & its inhabitants would not seem out of place in 'It's a Wonderful Life' with its apple pie concern for itself.
Hitchcock was duly proud of this work as it was looking into the Hardy family and cleverly twisting the values presented.
It seems difficult to imagine movies like Blue Velvet, or Badlands without this homage to small town America passed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitch; A Dark Genius, 29 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
First things first, I need to justify giving Shadow of a Doubt 5 stars. Yes, it is in black and white, no it's not the best soundtrack from Hitchcock however it is a true cinematic spectacle and that is enough to give it this high rating.

The story is simple, about an apparently 'average family'. Hitch believed that he could make a film full of suspense out of any ordinary script, this could be considered to be true of SOAD. That is not to say that it is badly written or A dull or fantastic plot, the fact is, its likeability lies in the simplicity of the film's characters. The story is basically about a man on the run from the law who visits his sister and her family.

What I love about it is the change of our identification of the characters from the hero over to the heroine - from Charles to Charlie. Where the film differs from other films of the epoch is the director's skill. Unlike the two-dimensional techniques of some, by 1942 Hitch had begun to establish himself in Hollywood as a great director. His motif in SOAD is the shadows; using lighting and different camera angles to create a POV that not only shows what the characters see, but that also tell how the audience to feel.

A very well rounded film, and I genuinely mean this when i say - the film is perfectly cast. The male lead is a familiar face across the Hitchcockian canon, both lead females couldnt have been changed, and there is a subtle comedy that adds a delightful warmth to the movie with the Holmes and Watson-esque characters of the Father and his friend.

I refuse to talk about the films famous ending as even noting the smallest details would unravel the entire film. Perhaps the film is famous for being Hitch's favourite, for as it's final lines suggest the world 'needs a lot of watching' - a definition of cinema, just as this film is the definitive Hitchcock. A real pleasure to watch, that truly has stood the test of time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I brought you nightmares..., 18 Aug 2008
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
It may not be his "best" film, but Shadow Of A Doubt remains my favourite Hitchcock film. Some state, such as his daughter Patricia, that it was his favourite too, although in typical Hitch fashion he stated that that wasn't the case during his interviews with Francois Truffaut.

Joseph Cotton excels as Uncle Charlie, who's visit to a small suburban American town is intially welcomed with open arms by his neice Young Charlie (another superb performance by Teresa Wright) but soon takes a much darker turn as she comes to the realisation that he could be the merry widow murderer.

There are a number of suspense set-pieces to thrill, although casual viewers of the Hitchcock experience coming to this film for the first time might be surprised at the relatively sedate pace it has compared to his more well-known films. Some will also be surprised that there is little real doubt throughout the film that Uncle Charlie is guilty, but that doesn't drop the suspense, more adds numerous different layers to it.

It's perfectly written, perfectly acted and perfectly directed. It's a five star classic all the way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quietly terrifying..., 24 Oct 2011
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
This was one of Hitchcock's favourite creations, and with good reason. This superbly crafted film focuses on the relationship between an uncle leading a double life, and his beloved neice who, we soon realise, is not as naive as she initially appears. She is soon filled with a dawning horror as to what he has done, and how it will affect her family, particularly her mother. The rest of the family is brought to life in typical Hitchcockian fashion, with a hefty dollop of very black humour to offset the sinister proceedings (the irony of young Charlie's father and best friend Herb, crafting the "perfect murder"). Cotten steals the show with his quite hideous set pieces about how humans are basically greedy and not really fit to be called humans at all... but don't let me spoil it for you. Forget about what we now consider frightening in a film, and let the master do his stuff. First class movie that deserves more kudos. PS. if you like this, give "The trouble with Harry" a bash - VERY black humour!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Believe a Stranger About Your Relative?, 16 Oct 2007
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
Things have gotten boring and routine in the Newton family, and Young Charlie (Teresa Wright) especially is feeling the boredom. So she decides to wire her favorite uncle to come for a visit. As it happens, Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) is already planning a visit.

While Young Charlie is excited to see her namesake again, she can't help but notice that he is acting strangely. He's especially skittish around two men who arrive at the Newton house claiming to be conducting a survey. These men tell Young Charlie a strange tale about her uncle. Could it be true? Is so, what should she do?

I really have a hard time watching old movies because I often find them dull and slow. This one started out that way with the set up taking more time then I would have liked. This is especially true since I already knew where the story was going. Once it got there, however, things really heated up. I was watching the time, but only to figure out how much longer before I'd know how it all turned out. This isn't to say the second half was perfect. It includes a romantic sub-plot that, while important to the plot, feels forced on the story. This isn't the fault of the actors, all of whom do a great job bringing the story to life.

This movie is one of Hitchcock's lesser known efforts, and it's a shame. If you are looking for a good suspenseful movie, this one will certainly fit the bill.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hitchcock's finest, 7 Dec 2011
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen almost all of Hitchcock's Hollywood era films, and I thought this was one of the best ones. Hitchcock does a good job of creating a "Psychological plot", in this film. The way that he captures the sociopathic mentality of the villain, in contrast to the innocence of the young girl, is quite remarkable. I think the "Master of suspense", did a good job with this film. It is also said that this was his favourite of all his own films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitch's greatest psychological thriller, 22 Aug 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film in astonishment: not only does it have psychological depth that is in no other Hitchcock film, but the sense of dread in it builds slowly and inexorably to a frightening climax. The best part of this by far is Teresa Wright's performance, as the intelligent child who enters adulthood as she sees a terrible truth she cannot deny. I was utterly riveted by her introspective performance and natural beauty.

The story is that a serial killer, Cotton, decides to hide at his sister's house, far away from his hunting ground in the northeast. It is clear that he is the killer from the very beginning, so there is no suspense about that. Once in CA, he meets his sister and his niece, Charlie, both of whom adore him. However, it becomes clear that neither of them recognizes him for what he is: a sociopath and con man on his last desperate run.

The emotional center is Teresa Wright, who cannot ignore her suspicions at his strange yet simple behavior. Not only does she observe him, but he makes cryptic and frightening utterances to her that seem to reveal what he really is underneath.

The most amazing thing is that nothing much really happens. And yet a sense of menace and terror grows until it is undeniable. This makes it the best kind of psychological thriller: most of the development is internal, as revealed by the body language of Wright, in her perfect acting. Cotton too is great, a creepy presence who emerges from the shadows now and then, whose actions occur almost entirely offstage. Of course, young Charlie's parents and siblings form the perfect backdrop, normal people unaware of the drama going on inside of her, yet curiously reflecting the mind of the older Charlie, who is charming the entire town. Wright wants to protect all of them from the truth as it dawns on her, a grief that will mark her and her alone for the rest of her life.

Highest recommendation. No wonder this is Hitchcock's favorite of all his films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no doubt about SHADOW OF A DOUBT!, 27 July 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
It's a very compelling mystery, featuring a lovely young girl (Teresa Wright) who adores her charming and handsome Uncle Charlie. Indeed, she is named after him. But when he comes to visit her idyllic Midwestern home and family this time, she has reason to suspect him of the most heinous crimes. Amidst the tranquil domesticity of a peaceful household, the chilling truth about Uncle Charlie is especially poignant. Although lesser known than many Hitchcock films, it is reputedly his personal favorite and in many ways, mine, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shadow of a doubt, 9 Nov 2010
By 
E. Clark (glasgow scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this movie a number of years ago and it was a grate story when I looked on the internet and saw it for sale I coulden't wait to see it again hitchcock at his best.

Betty Clark
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good B & W Film, 27 April 2012
By 
Ms. Nicola J. Booth "Nicola" (Guildford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] (DVD)
Never seen this Hitchcock film before, thought give it a whirl. Rather enjoyable. Good script, good acting, good clean transfer to DVD, clear sound/picture.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD]
Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2005)
£4.41
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews