Sunday, May 07, 2017

Script review - "Shadow of a Doubt" by Thornton Wilder, Alma Reville

Some people adore this Hitchcock film - I've never understood why. Maybe they respond to its depiction of small town Americana. In this dull town live a typical American family - befuddled dad, snappy daughter and her wisecracking sister. The mum's brother, Charlie, comes to town. He and the eldest daughter (also called Charlie) have a special bond. This is intriguing - it means more when Charlie turns out to be a killer.

I found myself having sympathy for Uncle Charlie - maybe this is why some people like the movie, he's a very empathetic protagonist, knocking off old widows, having headaches, being chased by the police. I wonder why they introduced two cops and did nothing with the second (one, Jack, has a very quick romance with younger Charlie, but the second feels kind of pointless - I assume he was there to be killed but it doesn't happen).

It works out reasonably logically - there's a new widow Charlie goes after, another person who could be the killer.

But I really didn't care that much. The younger Charlie was a bit of an idiot, the family were a bit of whatever. Maybe people respond to the Americana of it all. Hitchcock himself loved it. Maybe he was into the inversion of the family dynamic. I mean, it's fine, it just leaves me cold.

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