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Shadow of a Doubt Shadow of a Doubt is an Alfred Hitchcock film that was shot on location in the 1940s town of Santa Rosa California The town itself is representative of the ideal of American society However hidden within this picturesque community dark corruption threatens to engulf a family The tale revolves around Uncle Charlie a psychotic killer whose namesake niece a teenager girl named Charlie is emotionally thrilled by her Uncles arrival However her opinion slowly changes as she probes into her mysterious uncle In the film directorproducer Alfred Hitchcock blends conventions of film noir with those of a small town domestic comedy as a means of commenting on the contradictions in American values In the beginning the film is immediately set up in the film noir style Under the opening credits a shadowy backround image is shown kaleidoscopically Couples dressed in elegant ballroom gowns and suits waltz together dizzyingly as the Merry Widow Waltz plays The scene has nothing to do with the drama to follow until Charlies crimes are revealed The titles dissolve in to a panoramic view of a bridge further dissolves take us first to junkyard and then to a scene of children playing in the street The city is shown as a dirty dark place We are taken to a Philadelphia rooming house shown with a number 13 on the door Inside we are introduced to Uncle Charlie Joseph Cotten He is reclining stiffly in bed during the day in a seedy room He plays with the phallic cigar that he is smoking seemingly bitter and cynical On the bedside table next to seemingly indifferent and fatigued man is and an open billfold with a carelessly strewn pile of bills on top some of the bills have fallen to the floor and lie strewn around The overweight middle-aged landlady knocks on the door and enters identifying him as Mr Spencer and informing him that two
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