Shadow of a Doubt

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I guess heaven takes care of fools and scoundrels.
Have you ever stopped to think that a family should be the most wonderful thing in the world and that this family's just gone to pieces?

Shadow of a Doubt is a 1943 film noir about a young woman who thinks her uncle, whom she is named for, may be a serial killer.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, and Alma Reville, based on a story by Gordon McDonell.


Dialogue[edit]

Charlie: I've come to the conclusion that I give up. I simply give up.
Joseph: What are you going to give up?
Charlie: Have you ever stopped to think that a family should be the most wonderful thing in the world and that this family's just gone to pieces?
Joseph: We have?
Charlie: Of course we have. We just sort of go along and nothing happens. We're in a terrible rut. It's been on my mind for months. What's gonna be our future?
Joseph: Oh, come now, Charlie. Things aren't as bad as that. The bank gave me a raise last January.
Charlie: Money. How can you talk about money when I'm talking about souls? We eat and sleep and that's about all. We don't even have any real conversations. We just talk...
Joseph: ...and work.
Charlie: Yes, poor mother, she works like a dog, just like a dog...When she comes back, it will be the same thing. Dinner, then dishes, then bed. I don't see how she stands it. You know, she's really a wonderful woman. I mean, she's not just a mother. And I think we ought to do something for her. Don't you think we should?
Joseph: Yeah. What were you thinking of doing for her?
Charlie: Oh, nothing I suppose. I guess we'll just have to wait for a miracle - or something...I don't believe in good intentions anymore. All I'm waiting for now is a miracle.

Charlie: Mrs. Henderson, do you believe in telepathy?
Mrs. Henderson: Well I ought to, that's my business.
Charlie: Oh, not telegraphy, mental telepathy. Like, well, suppose you have a thought, and suppose the thought's about someone you're in tune with. And then across thousands of miles, that person knows what you're thinking about and answers you - and it's all mental.
Mrs. Henderson: I don't know what you're talkin' about. I only send telegrams the normal way.

Charlie: I can't explain it but you came here and Mother's so happy and I'm glad that she named me after you and that she thinks we're both alike. I think we are too. I know it. It would spoil things if you should give me anything.
Uncle Charlie: You're a strange girl, Charlie. Why would it spoil things?
Charlie: Because we're not just an uncle and a niece. It's something else. I know you. I know that you don't tell people a lot of things. I don't either. I have the feeling that inside you somewhere, there's something nobody knows about.
Uncle Charlie: Something nobody knows?
Charlie: Something secret and wonderful and - I'll find it out.
Uncle Charlie: It's not good to find out too much, Charlie.
Charlie: But we're sorta like twins, don't you see? We have to know.

Uncle Charlie: I've never been photographed in my life and I don't want to be.
Emma: But Charles, how can you talk that way? I had a photograph of you. I gave it to Charlie.
Uncle Charlie: I tell you there are none.
Emma: I guess you've forgotten this one...It was taken the Christmas you got your bicycle, just before your accident.
Charlie: Uncle Charlie, you were beautiful!
Emma: Wasn't he, though? And such a quiet boy, always reading. I always said Papa never should have bought you that bicycle. You didn't know how to handle it. Charlie, he took it right out on the icy road and skidded into a streetcar. We thought he was going to die.
Charlie: I'm glad he didn't.
Emma: Well he almost did. He fractured his skull. And he was laid up so long. And then - when he was getting well, there was no holding him. It was just as though all the rest he had was, well, too much for him, and he had to get into mischief to blow off steam. He didn't do much reading after that, let me tell you. It was taken the very day he had his accident. And then a few days later, when the pictures came home, how Mama cried. She wondered if he'd ever look the same. She wondered if he'd ever be the same.
Uncle Charlie: What's the use of looking backward? What's the use of looking ahead? Today's the thing. That's my philosophy. Today.
Emma: Well, if today is the thing, then you'd better finish your breakfast and get down to the bank because Joe will be waiting.

Uncle Charlie: I got in the habit of carrying a lot of cash with me when I was traveling.
Mr. Green: Dangerous habit, Mr. Oakley.
Uncle Charlie: Never lost a penny in my life, Mr. Green. I guess heaven takes care of fools and scoundrels.

Jack: What does your brother do?
Emma: Oh, he's just in business. You know the way men are.

Charlie: You know, your picking us as an average family kind of gave me a funny feeling...I guess I don't like to be an average girl in an average family.
Jack: Average families are the best. Look at me. I'm from an average family.
Charlie: As average as ours?
Jack: Sure. Besides, I don't think you're average.
Charlie: That's because you see me now instead of a few days ago. I was in the dumps, and then Uncle Charlie came and everything changed.
Jack: But your mother said he only got here last night. Maybe you just think that...
Charlie: I don't think, I know. It's funny, but when I try to think of how I feel, I-I always come back to Uncle Charlie. Are you trying to tell me I shouldn't think he's so wonderful?

Charlie: I know what you are really. You're a detective. There's something the matter and you're a detective...
Jack: Charlie, listen.
Charlie: I don't want to listen. You're not in a survey at all. You lied to us. You lied to mother. You just wanted to get in our house. That's what it is. What do you want with us? What are you doing around here lying to us?
Jack: Look, Charlie, you've got to listen to me. You've got to trust me.
Charlie: When you've done nothing but lie?
Jack: I had to. When I came here to this town to find a man. I hadn't counted on you. I hadn't counted on your mother or your family...There's a man loose in this country. We're after him. We don't know much about him. We don't even know what he looks like...This man we want may be your uncle.
Charlie: I don't believe you. Go away and leave me alone.
Jack: We're after one man. Your uncle may be that man. We followed him. We think he is. But in the east, there's another man who's being hunted too, hunted through Massachusetts and into Maine. He may be the one.

Uncle Charlie: Women keep busy in towns like this. In the cities it's different. The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands dead, husbands who've spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. Then they die and leave their money to their wives. Their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money. Proud of their jewelry but of nothing else. Horrible, faded, fat, greedy women.
Charlie: They're alive! They're human beings!
Uncle Charlie: Are they? Are they, Charlie? Are they human or are they fat wheezing animals, hmm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?

The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it?
Uncle Charlie: Well, Charlie?...You think you know something, don't you? That young fellow told you something...Now look, Charlie, Something's come between us. I don't want that to happen. Why, we're old friends. More than that. We're like twins. You said so yourself. [He takes Charlie's hand and she rejects him] What did he tell you? What did that boy tell you?...Charlie, you're a pretty understanding sort of girl. You've heard some little things about me. I guess you're a woman of the world enough to overlook them. You're the head of your family, Charlie, anyone can see that. I'm not so old. I've been chasing around the globe since I was sixteen. I guess I've done some pretty foolish things. And some pretty foolish mistakes. Nothing serious, just foolish. Aw, Charlie now, don't start imagining things.
Charlie: How could you do such things? You're my uncle and mother's brother. We thought you were the most wonderful man in the world. The most wonderful and the best.
Uncle Charlie: Charlie, what do you know?
[She takes the emerald ring from her pocket and returns it to him by placing it on the table]
Louise: Whose is it? Ain't it beautiful. I'd just die for a ring like that. Yes sir, for a ring like that, I'd just about die.
[Charlie tries to leave, but her uncle makes her sit]
Uncle Charlie: You think you know something, don't you? You think you're the clever little girl who knows something. There's so much you don't know. So much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little girl living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day and at night you sleep your untroubled, ordinary little sleep filled with peaceful, stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares! Or did I, or was it a silly inexpert little lie. You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind. How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know if you rip the fronts off houses you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up, Charlie! Use your wits. Learn something.
[Charlie runs out, then is caught by her uncle near her house]
Uncle Charlie: The same blood flows through our veins, Charlie. A week ago, I was at the end of my rope. Oh, I'm so tired, Charlie. There's an end to the running a man can do. You'll never know what it's like to be so tired. I was going to (he pauses) - Well, then I got the idea of coming out here. It's my last chance, Charlie. Give it to me! Graham and the other fellow, they don't know. There's a man in the East. They suspect him too. And if they get him, I-- Charlie, give me this last chance.
Charlie: Take your chance. Go.
Uncle Charlie: I'll go, Charlie, I'll go. Just give me a few days. Think of your mother. It'll kill your mother.
Charlie: Yes, it would kill my mother. Oh, take your few days. See that you get away from here.
Uncle Charlie: Do you realize what it will mean if they get me? The electric chair. Charlie, you've got to help me. I count on you. You said yourself we're no ordinary uncle and niece, no matter what I've done.

Jack: I guess I like you whatever you do. I guess I like you.
Charlie: I'm glad. I like you too.
Jack: Funny how you happen to meet someone and like them and - like them. Charlie...I suppose it couldn't ever really happen some day that you'd tell your father, you know, about marrying someone, a detective, I mean.
Charlie: I don't know.
Jack: I didn't mean to tell you. I wanted to wait until you'd forgotten all the mess we've been through together so you could stop thinking of me as something unpleasant and frightening. I wanted to wait and come back and then tell you. But I can't help it. I want to tell you now. I love you, Charlie. I love you terribly. I know it's no time to tell you now and I'm sorry. Do you mind?
Charlie: I don't mind.
Jack: Do you think you could think about it?
Charlie: About your loving me?
Jack: And perhaps your loving me?
Charlie: I'd like us to be friends. I know that. Well, we are friends. I'd like to have that to think about.
Jack: And nothing more?
Charlie: I don't know, Jack, I-I just don't know yet.

Charlie: When are you leaving, Uncle Charlie?
Uncle Charlie: Oh come now, Charlie. That other business - it's all over. I'd like to forget it. We're all happy here.
Charlie: When are you leaving?
Uncle Charles: I'm not going, you see. Not yet, I'm not going. I want to settle down. Live in a place where people know me. Have some money in the bank, some sort of business. Be a part of this family.
Charlie: Oh, I see.
Uncle Charlie: The most sensible thing for you to do is to be friends with me. I can do a lot for you, Charlie. A lot for all of you.
Charlie: No, not you. We don't want anything from you. I wish I'd told my mother about you. I wish I had.
Uncle Charlie: Oh, I know what you've been thinking. How do you think your mother would have felt? What would it do to her now? How about your father's job at the bank? What would become of all of you if everything came out?
Charlie: I know. You needn't be afraid. I can't tell them.
Uncle Charlie: I'm not afraid, Charlie. What would you tell? Who would believe you? A waltz runs through your head. You don't like the initials in a ring and you connect it all up with a newspaper clipping. And now you haven't even got the ring. I don't know what became of it.
Charlie: You have it.
Uncle Charlie: I? I gave it to you.
Charlie: I don't want you here, Uncle Charlie. I don't want you to touch my mother. So go away, I'm warning you. Go away or I'll kill you myself. See, that's the way I feel about you.

Uncle Charlie: Charlie, just a minute. I want you to know I think you were right to make me leave. It's best for your mother. Best for all of us. You saw what happened to her last night. She's not very strong, you know. I don't think she could stand the shock. I remember once when she was a little girl... [The train begins moving faster, but he seizes her as she panics and tries to break away.] No, listen Charlie, I want you to forget all about me. Forget that I ever came to Santa Rosa.
Charlie: Your hands! Let me go, Uncle Charlie. Let me go.
[She struggles into the space between the cars, while he grips her mouth and throat and opens the door to fling her onto the tracks.]
Uncle Charlie: I've got to do this, Charlie, so long as you know what you do about me. [He lifts her off the ground - her legs dangle in the air.] Not yet, Charlie, let it get a little faster! Just a little faster! Faster! Now!
[Struggling with him, she is able to reverse position with him and pushes him in front of the oncoming train]

Charlie: I'm glad you were able to come, Jack. I couldn't have faced it without someone who knew. I did know more. I couldn't tell you.
Graham: I know.
Charlie: He thought the world was a horrible place. He couldn't have been very happy ever. He didn't trust people. He seemed to hate them. Hated the whole world. You know, he said that people like us had no idea what the world was really like.
Graham: Well, it's not quite as bad as that, but sometimes it needs a lot of watching. It seems to go crazy every now and then, like your Uncle Charlie.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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