Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotton, Henry Travers, Patricia Collinge, Macdonald Carey, Wallace Ford, Hume Cronyn
In eyes of many, Shadow of a Doubt gave Hitchcock his first indisputable cinematic classic when it hit theaters in January 1943. And, 21 years later, the man himself didn't disagree: In a 1964 on-air interview for the Canadian program Telescope, Hitchcock concurred with host Fletcher Markle's statement that critics often praise this small-town thriller as his "finest film."
Co-written by Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt mines tons of fear and unease from Joseph Cotten's marvelous performance as "Uncle Charlie," who visits the home of her niece, Charlotte (Teresa Wright). She's a teenager whose affections for her uncle get tested when it's revealed that he's under suspicion of being the "Merry Widow Murderer," a serial killer known for seducing widows before killing them and taking their money.
Typical of Hitchcock's best movies, Shadow of a Doubt builds distrust in its viewers' minds through the littlest, most meticulously placed clues, from torn newspapers seen on the frame's edge to characters' vocal inflections and quickly changing demeanors.