31 October 2014

I Confess (1953)
95 min.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden, Brian Atherne, O.E. Hasse, Dolly Haas, Roger Dann.
This 1953 suspense thriller from Hitchcock isn't his strongest hour, but isn't without its merits.

After a murder is committed, the killer confesses to Father Michael Logan (Clift) who is bound by the conventions of the Church to keep silent before the Law.

When it's discovered the killer wore a (stolen) priest's cassock during the crime - and because he can provide no alibi for himself - Father Michael is put on trial for the murder!

Will he sacrifice his vows for his own freedom, by telling the police the identity of the killer?

Or will he tell the truth about his own alibi: that during the time of the murder, he was in the company of a woman with whom he had an affair prior to entering the priesthood?

Curious suspense vehicle from the Master is ineffectual at times, but it's not necessarily a complete misfire.

Filmed in Quebec, it benefits from the interesting theme of testing the Church's sanctity of confession - not to mention leads Clift and Baxter to recommend it.

Bookended between two of Hitch's stronger thrillers - Strangers on a Train (1951) and Dial M for Murder (1954).

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