A favorite of Alfred Hitchcock himself, with an exceptional script by the playwright Thornton Wilder, SHADOW OF A DOUBT anticipates such family menace dramas as CAPE FEAR. Young Charlie Newton (Teresa Wright) lies on her bed in Santa Rosa, California, bored with her small-town life and family. Meanwhile, her namesake, Uncle Charlie, lies on another bed thousands of miles away in Philadelphia surrounded by discarded bills, deep in secret thoughts. The two are linked, psychic twins, and when Charlie goes to send for her uncle, she finds a telegram announcing his visit already waiting for her. Uncle Charlie brings happiness into the Newton home and a special pleasure to Mother. Yet Charlie feels a tension--as if her double, played with razor-thin menace by the mild-mannered Joseph Cotten, has brought violence into her home as well. Subtle clues add weight to Charlie's vague doubts. This growing knowledge shocks her out of the warm sense of safety that she held in her small world. However, her intuitive understanding is a long way from allowing the young niece to challenge her uncle, and the tense cat-and-mouse play between the two is powerfully dramatized, showing Hitchcock in his best form.
Dimitri Tiomkin - Composer
Alfred Hitchcock - Director/screenwriter/producer, VERTIGO, THE BIRDS, PSYCHO
Sir Alfred Hitchcock - Director/screenwriter/producer, VERTIGO, THE BIRDS, PSYCHO
Joseph Cotten - American actor
Teresa Wright - Oscar winning American actress, MRS. MINIVER
Muriel Teresa Wright - Oscar winning American actress, MRS. MINIVER
Wallace Ford - British Actor
Patricia Collinge - Actress/Casting/Csa
Hume Cronyn - Actor/Screenwriter, Married Jessica Tandy
Clarence Muse - American Actor/Black
Joseph A. Valentine - American Diretor of Photography\D. 1949
Joseph Valentine - American Diretor of Photography\D. 1949
John B. Goodman - Art Director\1940s-1950s
John Goodman - Art Director\1940s-1950s
Thornton Wilder - American Playwright/Author, OUR TOWN
Jack H. Skirball - Producer
Henry Travers - British Character Actor
Macdonald Carey - American Actor
Milton Carruth - American Editor\1950s
This eerie thriller locates evil where it is least expected, turning sinister the cheery setting of a happy small-town family home. Uncle Charlie makes a surprise visit to his relatives in California. Despite his charm, his niece and namesake begins to see disturbing signs. The two have an uncanny connection, and, intuitively, the young niece starts to believe her uncle's past hides terrible secrets. From the story by Gordon McConnell, with a screenplay cowritten by Thornton Wilder, SHADOW OF A DOUBT is another Hitchcock treasure.
Hitchcock cameo: Hitchcock can be seen on a train playing cards with a couple. The character of Emma was based on Hitchcock's mother. The original title of the film was UNCLE CHARLIE. SHADOW OF A DOUBT was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1991.
"[A] subversively nifty mix of familial normality and the decay underneath." - 09/07/2004 USA Today, p.4D