Thursday, March 23, 2017
How Does "Shadow Of A Doubt" REALLY End??????????????
All this writing I have been doing, of late, which circles around this particular film, caused me to go back and examine it. And I made an interesting discovery.
I know, from this shot, the onrushing train, and the funeral scene at the closing, that Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) dies. That he was killed by the onrushing other train is unquestionable.
But who put him in that position? That is the question.
You have to be visually alert, once "The Two Charlies" (which I think would have been a great title for the film!!!!!!!!!) get outdoors on the caboose terrace of the train. There is a fight, and it looks like Teresa Wright wins, and Joseph Cotton falls onto the tracks.
This, I believe is what Hitchcock wants us to see. But, is it, really??????????
From my perspective, and having seen this film many times, there are three possibilities.
1. The niece, in survival mode, does push the uncle off the train.
2. The uncle, in the fight, involuntarily loses his balance, and falls in the train's path.
3. The uncle, who is a self-hating character, has a crisis of conscience at the end, and, as a final act of doing something right, sacrifices himself, to save his niece.
But which is the right answer? The scene is played out so carefully that each of these scenarios fit. Hitchcock sends out clues supporting each throughout the film. But he wants the viewer to decide for himself.
One thing is disturbing. Since Cotton and Wright are "the two Charlies," what does her pushing him say about her capacity to be like him? Sure, she is fighting for her life, and it is self-defense, but if she really did push him off the train, this Charlie is not to be messed with, either!!!!!!!
Hitchcock provides enough for every viewer to have their cake and eat it too. But I still cannot decide.
What do you think, girls???????? You tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!