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I Confess (B&W / 1953) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller)

27 Feb, 2009 | Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers

It’s one of the most under-rated films directed by Alfred Hitchcock and you will find much more written about his other famous movies rather than I CONFESS in books, articles and websites discussing his unique style of filmmaking. But personally, I truly found this offering a fresh memorable experience, based on a rare and unheard of plot, including the thrill and the emotions in just the right dosages. 
Based on a 1902 play titled “Nos Deux Consciences” (meaning Our Two Consciences), the amazing feature of the film is that the viewer is shown the murder and the murderer right in the first scene itself and then the killer also confesses to the priest for his crime. But then it all gets into a highly intriguing act, when the suspicion shifts on to the priest himself, who had heard the confession, but ethically cannot speak the truth saving himself. Just imagine the situation and the helplessness felt by the priest, as he knows the truth, but still cannot reveal it fulfilling his duty of a priest.
Adding to the drama, Hitchcock romantically uses flashback in the storyline, which gives a soft touch to an otherwise crime based thriller. And the brilliantly written and directed sorts it all saving the priest, without breaking his vow of concealing the confessions as a priest. 
Beautifully enacted by Montgomery Clift playing the priest and other co-stars, the movie strongly proves the mastery Hitchcock had in choosing his stories and subjects right from the start, along with his skillful direction handling his actors. And that’s what makes this a must watch for all Hitchcock fans and lovers of quality thrillers.
Ironically I CONFESS got mixed reviews at the time of its release as it was way ahead of its time. And reportedly was also banned in Ireland as it showed a priest in relationship with a lady (even when the relationship happens to be in the past, before his becoming a priest.) But as quoted by Peter Bogdanovich in a special documentary feature on the film, 
“In the early 50s when they polled the French New Wave Critics/Filmmakers, I CONFESS was at the top of their list of the great Hitchcock films. It is not one of his best known, but it is one of his most serious and I think one of his most personal because Hitchcock was brought up in a very strict catholic background and this is a story about a catholic priest who must keep the secrets of the confession. It is a very tricky and subversive Hitckcock setup and how he plays it, what he does with it is interesting.”
Note : Hitchcock’s cameo in the film can be seen just after the opening credits, walking on the top of a broad stairways.

Directed By Alfred Hitchcock
Starring : Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden and Dolly Hass.

Tags : I CONFESS (1953) Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Alfred Hitchcock Films, Movies to See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing, Not Be Missed Movies List by Bobby Sing
27 Feb 2009 / Comment ( 0 )
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