Analysis Of Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow Of A Doubt

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Shadow of a Doubt, a 1943 American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, begins with Uncle Charlie lying on his bed in deep thought. The landlady informs Charlie that the two men waiting at the corner were waiting for him, and Charlie quickly gathers his items and flees. The two men follow him around corners and past alleyways. Once Charlie is sure he has lost them, he stops at a pay phone booth and sends a telegram to his sister in Santa Rosa, California, telling her that he will visit in a couple of days. In Santa Rosa, Charlotte, who also goes by Charlie, is lying in bed complaining to her father. Once the family learns that Charlie is coming for a visit, they are all beaming with excitement, especially Charlotte. The family picks…show more content…
Many critics have called it brilliant, and Lindsay Anderson even called it Hitchcock’s best Hollywood film. It is noted for being uniquely Hitchcockian. The notion that something dark lies beneath the surface is a plot device employed in many Hitchcock films, and Shadow of a Doubt refines these themes down to its essential components. Hitchcock loves plots of the wrong man accused, but this film left no doubt that Uncle Charlie was guilty. Some have criticized the movie for occasionally being implausible or unrealistic at times, but the director’s unique style of immersion and camera work is enough to have these somewhat stretched areas of the plot…show more content…
The juxtaposition of the good Charlotte and the evil Charlie is one of Hitchcock’s greatest elements in his films. Though the two of them share the same world and even go by the same name, Charlotte and Charlie could not be more different. They are opposites yet complementary to each other. Charlotte represents optimism, trust, goodness, and love. Charlie, on the other hand, represents negativity, deception, and evil even though he seems charming and delightful to the outside world. When Charlie arrives to Santa Rosa, the train bringing him puffs billowy black smoke into the air, which is a metaphor for Charlie bringing the evil to this nice town. Though Charlie is seen as evil, he also has compassion for his family and love towards Charlotte. Hitchcock is able to link the two through the camera and show that a man of this nature can share the same blood with a pure girl like Charlotte. However, even Charlotte was capable of murdering her own uncle when she needed to. Hitchcock is trying to show that having a combination of good and evil is simply part of human nature whether we want to believe it or
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