The Intelligence in Shadow of a Doubt

First Run Criticism

We have a rather definitive view of what an Alfred Hitchcock film should be:  tense, filled with intrigue, murder, and suspense, probably involving a train, possibly involving a case of mistaken identity, and the very rare battle over a national monument.  Enter Shadow of a Doubt, the 1943 film set in the Californian suburban sprawl.  It’s Hitchcock’s favorite film, which is funny since it contains few of the trappings of a typical “Hitchockian” movie.  Sure, there’s suspense and murder and great camera work and editing.  But he also mines sociology, striking on something that would not be explored in pop culture until Rebel Without A Cause.  Hitchcock gives America a peek into the most covert, intelligent, and dangerous creature roaming the country:  the common teenager.

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