Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Monsters were popular in the time when films were predominantly black-and-white, but in most of those movies, you could spot a monster just by looking at him. Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt derives much of its horror from making the monster 1) handsome and 2) family. Teenaged Charlie (played by Teresa Wright) loves her Uncle and namesake played by Joseph Cotton, but certain things come to her attention, and while her family remain ignorant, she slowly suspects her hero of being a serial killer. This scene is the film’s best. Charlie needles her Uncle until he slowly, and for the first time, reveals a glimpse of the monster he is underneath. Uncle Charlie’s monologue, delivered monotonously by Cotton, is chilling and ends with one of Hitchcock’s most memorable shots, that of Cotton turning into the camera with that odious line.

-Walter Howard-

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