Friday, August 6, 2010

Shadow of a Doubt

Hitchcock, 1943, 102m

This is vintage Hitchcock and it is clear that the master of suspense has reached his peak as early as this. The suspense starts from the opening scene in a money strewn room, and builds up like a slow poison or wine till the crescendo in the moving train. The violence in Hitchcock is never on screen just as most of the unpleasant things in life happen behind a veneer of propriety. The word riveting is not wasted on a film like this since one literally does not notice the passage of time and, as in any good yarn, it leaves us unsatisfied and asking for more.Supreme craftsman that he is, he panders perhaps to our lower nature in his choice of subject, that in us which is drawn to violence and gore, while at the same time being repulsed by it. Alfred Hitchcock's movies are a gentlemanly version of the gladiator shows. This is surely among the best.

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