All Screenings on Sunday and Monday are VacCinema and require proof of vaccination.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
Shadow of a Doubt

Hitchcock: Double Vision
Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm  
Instructor: Jennifer Fleeger, Ph.D., Media and Communication Studies, Ursinus College

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) is one of Hitchcock’s most disturbing pictures because it confirms that our darkest fantasies may, in fact, be true. Thus, it’s not surprising that Hitchcock thought it one of his most believable plots, even if several critics did not. The story concerns two Charlies, one played by Joseph Cotten, and the other, his niece, by Teresa Wright. The closeness of their relationship is put to the test when young Charlie begins to suspect her uncle of terrible crimes.

How does suspicion seep into the atmosphere of an ideal American town? Camera placement and lighting begin to take on young Charlie’s apprehension as the film proceeds, a fear Hitchcock places within the home by staging key moments around a staircase, one of his favorite settings. We will talk about the history of the staircase for the director and the use of angles and shadows in his work. We will also discuss the story’s origins and the contributions to its screenplay by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder, as well as the influence of World War II on its production.

Hitchcock’s interest in the double plays a big role in this film (as it does in Vertigo, among others), and as such, demands our attention. Lastly, we will address the way Hitchcock signals danger with sound by making use of Franz Lehár’s airy “Merry Widow Waltz,” and a score by the legendary Dimitri Tiomkin. Join us to learn about the Hitchcock film that Hitchcock himself identified as his favorite.

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Additional showtimes can be found here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those who attend the seminar on site at BMFI receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink.

Please note: There are two ways to attend in this seminar:

  1. On site, at BMFI, in one of our theaters: Register online, via the “ON SITE” button under the “Course Information” heading.
  2. You will also be able to “attend” this seminar in our Remote Classroom, but it is currently undergoing renovations. Please check back or sign up for our emails to find out when it’s reopening.

Please email BMFI Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members

On Site

  • Tuesday, July 12 · 6:30 pm