Shadow of a Doubt

I usually watch a Partridge Family episode on Friday to remind me of my childhood, but I was busy with A’s games during the weekend, so I saw “This Male Chauvinist Piggy Went to Market.” I thought that the grease stains on Laurie’s face didn’t look real. There was a familiar denim jacket in the episode. San Pueblo was having its 103rd anniversary celebrating, so it must have been founded in 1869. The featured song was “God Bless You Girl.” I went to work and felt extremely tired afterwards. I heard that Tampa Bay had lost, so the A’s were in the playoffs. I sat down to watch “Shadow of a Doubt,” the Hitchcock classic starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright. It had the small town feeling of “Our Town” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the criminal mind with something to hide, like “Psycho.” There was something like “Suspicion” going on with the story, so it wasn’t surprising that Hitchcock wanted to use Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine for the cast. Young Charlie is naïve and bored and wishes for the excitement that someone like Uncle Charlie would bring to this sleepy town of Santa Rosa. Cotten was great in films like “Citizen Kane” and “The Third Man.” The story was not the most believable. The police were stupid. They went straight into the house pretending to do a survey. Uncle Charlie is the most suspicious person in the world. His attempts at murder are terrible and clumsy. How did he go so long without getting caught? The cop who directs traffic knows young Charlie’s name, as does the librarian. Her illusions about her uncle are shattered when she looks at the newspaper in the library. We see a shot of the camera pulling back from her, and apparently the shadow of the camera is on Teresa’s back. I got tired of The Merry Widow Waltz. I found the relationship between young Charlie and the detective unbelievable. The last scene with her and her uncle was hard to believe, too. What was the reaction of the townspeople afterwards? I had to wonder whether the truth came out. There are strong emotions running through the movie, even from the kids. I wondered whether young Charlie had the slightest bit of sense, protecting a murderer because she was afraid of her mother’s response. This was Hume Cronyn’s first movie. I wouldn’t see him in a movie until “Cocoon,” I believe. This was Hitchcock’s personal favorite of all his films. I really liked his films in color, like “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.” Some of the people who died on September 25 include Ring Lardner (1933), John Bonham (1980), Walter Pidgeon (1984), Mary Astor (1987), Billy Carter (1988), George Plimpton (2003), Don Adams (2005), Andy Williams (2012), and Arnold Palmer (2016). Today is a birthday for Catherine Zeta-Jones (49), Heather Locklear (57), Mark Hamill (67), Michael Douglas (74), and Barbara Walters (89). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 25, “The Partridge Family,” loosely based on the story of The Cowsills, made its debut on ABC in 1970.  Also in 1970, Ringo Starr’s “Beaucoups of Blues” album was released.  In 1979, “Evita” had its Broadway premiere. In 1981, the Rolling Stones began their American concert tour at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.  In 1982, “Silver Spoons,” starring Ricky Schroder and Erin Gray, debuted on NBC.

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