Shadow of a Doubt is one of my favourite films. I think this is in spite of it being an Alfred Hitchcock film. It is the first of his films that deserves scholarly analysis not that you are getting one here.
On a basic level I love it because Teresa Wright is one of my favourite actresses. This stems from the first time I became aware of her which is when we were probably the same age (or at least she was playing that age range) so I could relate to her. She was dark haired and so naturally beautiful but also intelligent and honest. And who wouldn’t want to be that? And what films those first films were! The Little Foxes, Shadow of a Doubt, The Best Years of Our Life, Pursued, Enchantment, even Mrs Miniver and The Pride of the Yankees. And she is just so good in Shadow of a Doubt.
I cannot imagine anyone better cast as Young Charlie. That is another reason to love the film, the cast is superb. Cotton, Collinge, Cronyn, Carey, and that’s just the Cs.
It is very funny. Much funnier than Mr and Mrs Smith!
I like that it was shot on location and in a real house. I even think the romance is handled well. It is easy to laugh at Hollywood’s instant love affairs but this is much more subtle. And it takes place in a garage.
My other favourite film stars at that time were Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman. Now Davis is a tremendous star but I couldn’t ever imagine being either her or the roles she played. She was simply too brittle, too highly strung, and too angry. And Bergman was too utterly gorgeous and unattainable. Film stars weren’t called goddesses for nothing! As an aside I have difficulty imagining a film with Bergman and Wright as co-stars. They seem so incompatible.