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Shadow of a Doubt

Charles: Are they? Are they, Charlie? Are they human or are they fat, wheezing animals, hm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?

Shadow of a Doubt was one of Alfred Hitchcock's favourite films. It was made in 1942 and released in 1943.




Quote from Shadow of a Doubt

Charles: Women keep busy in towns like this. In the cities it's different. The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands dead, husbands who've spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. And then they die and leave their money to their wives, their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money, proud of their jewelry but of nothing else, horrible, faded, fat, greedy women.
Charlie: But they're alive! They're human beings!
Charles: Are they? Are they, Charlie? Are they human or are they fat, wheezing animals, hm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?


Teresa Wright... Charlotte 'Young Charlie' Newton
Joseph Cotten... Uncle Charlie Oakley
Macdonald Carey... Jack Graham
Henry Travers... Joseph Newton
Patricia Collinge... Emma Spencer Oakley Newton
Hume Cronyn... Herbie Hawkins
Wallace Ford... Fred Saunders
Edna May Wonacott... Ann Newton
Charles Bates... Roger Newton
Irving Bacon... Station Master
Clarence Muse... Pullman Porter
Janet Shaw... Louise Finch - Waitress
Estelle Jewell... Catherine

Images of violence and aggression in Shadow of a Doubt

Beneath the surface of the small town idyll, lures a dark and evil world of violence and aggression. Uncle Charlie is the main representative og this world, although the film shows in several subtle ways that this is part of us all.


Two of the three scenes in which uncle Charlie is trying to kill little Charlie.


Shadow of a Doubt (1943) titles

Hitchcock Titles Rebecca



Serial Killers in Hitchcock Movies

The Lodger The Avenger is serial killer who targets young blonde women.
Shadow of a Doubt Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) is a serial killer known as the "Merry Widow Murderer". He seduces, murders and robs wealthy widows.
Psycho When his mother found a lover, Norman Bates murdered both of them. He then stole his mother's corpse and preserved the body. He takes her identity and acts, talks, and dresses as she would. In the final scene, the sheriff mentions the unsolved disappearances of two other young girls.
Frenzy Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) is a fruit merchant who rapes and strangles women.



Alfred Hitchcock Cameos

Foreign Correspondent

After John Jones (Joel McCrea) leaves his hotel, Hitchcock is seen wearing a coat and hat and reading a newspaper.

The Birds

As Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) enters the pet shop, Hitch is leaving with two white Sealyham terriers.

Family Plot

Hitchcock's silhouette is seen through the door of the Registrar of Births and Deaths.


Hitchcock is entering from the left of the hotel corridor after Tippi Hedren passes by.

The Lodger

Hitchcock is sitting at a desk in the newsroom.

Torn Curtain

Hitchcock is sitting in the lobby of Hotel d'Angleterre, Copenhagen, with a baby on his knee. He shifts the child from one knee to the other.

Shadow of a Doubt

Hitchcock Cameo in Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt: Hitchock's cameo on the train taking uncle Charlie to Santa Rosa.

The Paradine Case

Hitchcock is leaving the train at Cumberland Station, carrying a cello case. Gregory Peck is carrying the suitcase.


Hitchcock wearing a cowboy hat can be seen through the office window when Janet Leigh is entering.


Alfred Hitchcock is seen in a grey suit walking in the street outside Gavin Elsters company buildings.

Young and Innocent

Hitchcock is standing outside the courthouse, holding a camera.

Stage Fright

Hichcock is turning to look back at Jane Wyman in her disguise as Marlene Dietrich's maid.

The Wrong Man

Alfred Hitchcock introduces The Wrong Man in what is not a normal cameo appearence.

North by Northwest

Hitchcock too late for the bus at the end of the titles sequence.


Hitchcock is standing on the street outside a store, "Cut Rate Drugs".
Originally Hitchcock wanted to do a cameo with his secretary at the time, Carol Stevens, as deaf and dumb persons walking down the street. Then Hitchcock was to have made a presumably indecent proposal using sign language, resulting in the woman slapping him in the face.



Some High Angle Shots


When Roddy (Ivor Novello) leaves the school after having been expelled, he is seen from above and looks small and depressed.

The 39 Steps When Professor Jordan (Godfrey Tearle) is trapped, we see the stage he is on in a high angle shot.

Secret Agent

When the organ player is found dead in the church, we see this from the bell towrer where Ashenden and the Mexican is hiding.


When Lisa has spoken with the detectives after Beaky's death

Shadow of a Doubt

The high shot from the roof in Philadelphia when uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) has tricked the detectives and escaped their surveillance. Here the high angle shot illustrates that uncle Charlie is in total control.
After little Charlie has read the article at the library confirming that her uncle is the Merry Widower Murderer, the camera moves up to the roof, leaves little Charlie "down there" - she is devastated as she slowly walks out

I Confess Father Logan (Montgomery Clift) is seen from a high angle when he is on his way to turn himself in.

Dial M for Murder

When Tony is telling Lesgate hos the murder plan is to be set out.
When Lesgate arrives the apartement.
When Tony is asked by the police if he knows who committed the murder.
When the detectives are searching the apartement
Just befor Tony enters the apartemenet at the end, Margo and Mark is seen from above.

The Trouble With Harry

When Sammy (John Forsythe) and Captain Albert Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) is digging to get Harry out of the ground.

The Birds A high angle shot of Bodega Bay occurs when the gulls descend on the town to attack.


When Kusenov is asked if he knows about the spy ring called Topaz, there are several high angle shots.


When Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) is put in his cell after the verdict has been read.
When Oxford is sitting alone in the courtroom thinking that they might have caught the wrong man.

Family Plot

When Fran and Adamson comes up from the cellar, they are seen from above (which includes the crystals in the frame)
During the funeral when Humley is following Maloney's mother to speak with her, we see this from a high angle.

High angle shots

Fantastic high angle shot from Shadow of a Doubt. Little Charlie has just discovered that her uncle is a serial killer.

Black people in Hitchcock's Films


In Marseille there is a black man among the sailors who says that Roddy (Ivor Novello) is "dotty – he’s seein’ things."

The Ring

At the fair people can throw balls on a black man to make him fall down. Two boys throw an egg at him, to the crowd's amusement.

One of the members of "One-Round" Jack's team is black.


The black servant brings a telegram to the father (Gordon Harker) who scorns him. He is extremely servile and walks around almost as a chimpanzee.

Gordon Harker Gordon Harker

A black man works as a bartender in the restaurant.

Young and Innocent

The killer (drummer man) performs in a band performing in blackface.

Shadow of a Doubt

When Charlie goes to Santa Rosa by train, the railroad porter is black.


Canada Lee in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat"

Canada Lee (1907–1952) as Joe Spencer.

Strangers on a Train

The senator's servant is black.


After Marnie steals from Rutland, and she is descending the stairs, a black man is seen on the left.


Philippe Dubois (Roscoe Lee Browne) takes the identity of a black journalist from Ebony, sneaks into the Cuban embassy, manages to take photos of some of the important documents and then runs away, chased by Cuban revolutionaries.

Family Plot

One of the FBI agents questioning Arthur Adamson in his jewel store.




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