SHADOW OF A DOUBT is an Alfred Hitchcock classic. This 1943 thriller starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotton takes place in Santa Rosa, California. Here we meet a quiet and bored girl named Charlie (played by Wright). When it seems like nothing is going on in her family or personal life she receives wonderful news that her Uncle Charlie (played by Cotton) will be visiting. This makes Charlie happy because the two are very close and the family also adores him.
When Uncle Charlie shows up everyone is very excited until one day when Charlie is confronted by two men portraying themselves as journalists working on a national survey of an average American family. Charlie soon learns they are really not the people she thought they were, and they finally come clean telling her they are detectives and suspect her uncle as being the "Merry Widow Murderer". A man known for robbing and murdering wealthy Widowers.
At first Charlie refuses to believe her Uncle could be a killer, but her suspicions are confirmed after he starts to act strangely even speaking about his anger and hatred for widowers one night at the dinner table conversation.
Charlie tries hard not to show her Uncle that she now thinks of him as a killer, but it becomes apparent very quickly to him that things are not the same as they were when he arrived. He tries to talk to Charlie, but she refuses to speak about it with him any longer. She tells her Uncle she wants him to leave her and her family at once. Then strange things being to happen when Charlie falls down some broken stairs, and becomes locked in the garage with the car still running the engine. Uncle Charlie stages a fake rescue, but Charlie believes he is trying to now hurt her so she will be silenced for good.
After it seems he can’t do much about Charlie knowing his secret and he sees the detectives are hot on his trail, he thinks it’s time to move on to his next victim and announces he will be leaving to San Francisco. As the train starts to leave he forces Charlie to stay with him and while it starts to go he begins to try and push her off. During the struggle Uncle Charlie falls to his death into an oncoming train.
At his funeral he is spoken about in high regards. Charlie does not tell anyone about her secret which is only shared between her and the detective she has now started to fall in love with.
SHADOW OF A DOUBT is a true masterpiece and was met with many positive reviews when released. The city of Santa Rosa where it was filmed is where I grew up. The original house that Charlie lives in the film still exist as does the old train depot which is now a visiting center. Although a lot of the other buildings have since been destroyed due to age and earthquakes, I think it’s still very interesting such a wonderful movie was filmed in the city I know best. I think if you love Hitchcock films you should defiantly check it out. You will not be disappointed.