“I have a feeling that inside you somewhere, there’s somebody nobody knows about.” — Shadow of a Doubt, 1943


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

“What do you know, really? You’re just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there’s nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares.” — Shadow of a Doubt - A. Hitchcock


Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt

Side note: A Devil in disguise.