Leave it to Alfred Hitchcock...

...to cast the charming and easy-going Cotten as the villain in his superb suspense drama, Shadow of a Doubt.  Cotten gives what many consider his finest performance as the debonair yet mysterious "Uncle Charlie." 

Uncle Charlie is almost legendary to his niece and namesake, Young Charlie (Teresa Wright), who has felt a special rapport with him all her life. She is elated when Charles first arrives on a visit, but before too long she begins to sense there is something strange about him, something he is concealing. (As Young Charlie's mother (Patricia Collinge) points out, he was always...different after those head injuries he sustained in a boyhood accident....)

Hitchcock shot Shadow on location in Santa Rosa, CA and to further the illusion of folksy Americana, enlisted Thornton Wilder as one of his scenarists.  The resulting contrast between these seemingly commonplace surroundings and the deadly cat-and-mouse game that develops between Cotten and Teresa Wright makes this film truly spellbinding.

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