The Original Thriller Was Shadow of a Doubt Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Original Thriller Was Shadow of a Doubt Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

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Shadow of a Doubt is a thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock that was released in 1943. The film is about a normal family, named the Newton’s, who live in Santa Rosa, California. They receive an unexpected telegram that their Uncle Charlie is coming to visit. The family is excited, especially Charlie Newton who is the older daughter in the Newton family and even named after her Uncle. Coincidentally, when Charlie went down to the post office to make a telegram for her Uncle Charlie she found out he had already sent one himself that he was coming to town. Shortly after Uncle Charlie moves in things shift from joyful, to suspicious and eventually gloom. Two men show up claiming they want to survey the family and take pictures. The mother agrees to let them in the house to survey them; little do they know that these two men are under covers. Uncle Charlie finds out about this and tries everything he can to convince the family they shouldn’t let strangers in the house. One “surveyor” snaps a picture of Uncle Charlie and he furiously demands the film back. The “surveyor” hands him the film back, but little does Uncle Charlie know the film he was given back was a different film and they know have a picture of their suspect. Later that night, Jack Graham the surveyor takes Charlie out and reveals to her that he is a detective and her Uncle is not the wonderful man she thought he was. He is one of the two witnesses for the Merry Widow Killer. Charlie starts to put the pieces together and realizes her Uncle is the Widow Killer. The ripped up newspaper, aggressive behavior, the engraving in the ring, and his angry spiel at the dinner table about how he hates rich widows and how they waste their money finally make her realize he is an ev...


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...g white and black lighting shows the good and the evil. The darkness is Uncle Charlie and the light is Charlie which is what a film noir is all about. My expectations were fulfilled about film noir in this movie because of the setting, interesting thriller/ mystery plot, and I thought Alfred Hitchcock did a great job with the lighting and how the movie was shot. As this is the first film noir I have seen, I cannot speak for other films, but I did expect the film to be a bit more violent. When I learned the plot, and that Uncle Charlie was the Widow Killer I expected to see scenes of him murdering widows but instead there was very little violence. The only violence was when Uncle Charlie would get aggressive towards Charlie, and the ending where he is thrown into an oncoming train, but no blood or body is shown, unlike today’s movies where there can be tons of gore.

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