Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've only disliked one Hitchcock film (To Catch a Thief) among the dozen or so that I've seen. I Confess is no exception. It might even be my new favorite (though that happens just about as often as every time I see a new Hitchcock film). The plot is classic "wrong man" Hitchcock. A priest hears a confession of murder and is then framed for that exact same murder by the man who confessed.

What struck me was the same thing that is constantly present in the Michael Connolly novels that I've been reading all year. When someone comes under investigation, they are guilty. All the time. Guilty. Those under suspicion and investigation are often cleared of the charges against them related to the specific crime being investigated and the true criminal is finally caught. That is true. But, along the way, there is other guilt, unrelated but real, and it is exposed, brought to light. No one is spared. In I Confess, this exposure benefits all involved, because open pain and humiliation trumps secret sin.

I've knocked flashbacks in the past (no pun intended), but I love them here. Hitchcock goes for a highly stylized, trashy silent romanticism that conveys perfectly a specific sort of feminine point of view exemplified by Anne Baxter's character. The cinematography is gorgeous all around, the acting is perfect and the score is great. Hitchcock can do no wrong.

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