The quiet town of Santa Rosa, California, is a prime example of an idealistic community in which many Americans in the 1940s would have considered to be a wonderful place to settle down into and raise a family. Alfred Hitchcock sought to portray this idea through his film titled,
Shadow of a Doubt, which he produced and directed in 1943. The original screenplay is written by playwright Thornton Wilder. This film revolves around the strange relationship between Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Newton (Teresa Wright) and her mysterious Uncle, Charlie Oakley (Joseph Cotton), whom she was named after, and how his secret of being a strangling psychopathic murderer affected this relationship. By examining the film's Mise en scene, narrative structure, and camera movement, one can see the various ways in which Hitchcock uses suspense to extensively convey how young Charlie begins to grow strangely suspicious of her cryptic guest, Uncle Charlie. This is significant because through these elements Hitchcock is then able to successfully illustrate and present Shadow of a Doubt as a classic example of film noir.
Originating from France, the term Film Noir literally means ‘black film’ in
French. Mainly developing in the early 1940s, the style of Film Noir became popular among American Cinema, post World War II. Though there is no exact definition of this term, there are key elements in which constitutes a film to be considered a Film Noir. The elements usually include unique canted camera angles, low key lighting, which creates gloomy settings and ominous shadows, sexual insinuation between characters, cynical persons, acts of violent crime, foreboding background music, and in many cases, a fatal woman, also known as femme fatale, meaning fatale woman in French. With all of these components combined, a dark atmosphere of pessimism is then created within a film which makes it out to be... [continues]
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(2010, 12). No Doubts of a Shadow: a Film Critique of Shadow of a Doubt as a Film Noir. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/No-Doubts-Of-A-Shadow-A-534318.html
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"No Doubts of a Shadow: a Film Critique of Shadow of a Doubt as a Film Noir." StudyMode.com. 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/No-Doubts-Of-A-Shadow-A-534318.html.