(Review originally written at 20 January 2009)

I wouldn't exactly label this movie as a film-noir but it's a pretty good '40's thriller, that has a nice concept, which of course gets handled magnificently by the master of suspense; Alfred Hitchcock. It's not his best and also certainly not his most memorable movie but this says something more about the quality of the other movies he has done than about this movie really.

Like basically every '40's movie it begins rather slow and it takes its time to set up its story and characters. However about halve way through, when things really start to take off, it becomes a great movie to watch. For '40's standards it's quite an unique little thriller. It knows to build up its tension with a minimum amount of resources.

It has a nice story about average people. This is one of the reasons why the thriller elements work out so effectively. The movie isn't set at any strange places, with stereotypical characters. The places, situations and characters are all easy to identify with. The main concept itself is pretty simple but somethings this is all you need for a movie to become a good one. Its screenplay got even nominated for an Oscar.

It's a nice shot movie, with some wonderful looking and constructed sequences, once you start paying attention to it. This is were Alfred Hitchcock was great in; creating some solid, unique, great looking sequences, with its original camera-work, in which he could capture a lot of things and emotions and setting the right mood with for the movie.

It also features some nice acting. What I like is that the characters are changing throughout the movie. It gives the movie some nice tension since it provides the movie with a certain feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. Especially Joseph Cotten did a great job with this but Teresa Wright is also a nice leading lady.

Nice little minimalistic thriller, made great by its concept and of course wonderful and effective directing from Alfred Hitchcock.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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