Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1953. Warner Bros.. Screenplay by George Tabori, William Archibald, based on the play by Paul Anthelme. Cinematography by Robert Burks. Produced by Sidney Bernstein, Alfred Hitchcock. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin. Production Design by Ted Haworth, John Beckman. Costume Design by Orry-Kelly. Film Editing by Rudi Fehr. Cannes Film Festival 1953.
Though even the most diehard Hitchcock enthusiasts find this to be a lesser entry in his oeuvre, it still packs some good punches after so many years. Montgomery Clift is terrific as a parish priest in Quebec City who takes a confession one night and is told about a murder. When it turns out the man who was killed knew some dirty secrets about Clift and his ex-girlfriend (Anne Baxter), the police start to suspect him as the murderer, while he is unable to clear his name because of religious ethics. Hitchcock uses the old-world look of Quebec City to great effect in this suspenseful gothic thriller, one that makes quite an impact on the knots in your stomach before it finally lets out. Baxter is superb, and Robert Burk’s cinematography is as stunning as the best of his work on Hitchcock’s movies.