Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
“Shadow of a Doubt may be considered an exploration and indictment of the increasingly chaotic nature of American life during the period. In ways, it seems even more despairing than the war-related dramas since if inscribes the incipient psychoses of American life in ‘ordinary’ citizens without recourse to treacherous Nazis or hostile foreign powers. To accomplish this, Hitchcock employs the sort of nightmarish plot and shadowy visuals that are two of film noir’s most consistently encountered traits, and the horror-film conventions which have strong resonances on political, cultural and psychoanalytical levels. Shadow of a Doubt refers to the vampire-movie tradition with surprising frequency. Uncle Charlie is like a vampire on the narrative as well as the visual level—an alien invader whose very presence contaminates the environment wherein he operates and threatens to corrupt others, especially those he chooses as targets. His activities also have the heavy overlay of sexual aggression that is common to the vampire genre.”
David Sterritt, The Films of Alfred Hitchcock
Alternative Candidate Rating: 5/5
Shadow of a Doubt | Alfred Hitchcock | 1943
Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt
Side note: A Devil in disguise.