Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I Confess (1953), is one of famed Alfred Hitchcock's lesser known works. Starring Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, and Karl Malden, it is the story of one man, a priest, who must choose between proving his innocence in a crime he did not commit or holding true to his priestly vows.
Father Logan (Clift) unwittingly becomes the lead suspect in the Villete murder case after listening to the confession to the murder by one his parishioners. Unable to alert detectives to the real killer's identity without revealing information given to him in the confessional, Father Logan quickly becomes the prime suspect.
I Confess lacks a great deal of the sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense that marks some of Hitchcock's most noted films, as viewers know the identity of the killer right from the start. But even with the lack of suspense & mystery...the great filming, heartwarming plot line, and memorable casting of characters more than makes up for it.
Montgomery Clift's performance as the serious, caring Father Logan is captivating. I would be the first one to admit that I couldn't quite picture Clift--of A Place in the Sun fame--as a believable priest, but after watching only the first few moments of the film, you can't help but be drawn in by the sincerity & warmth of his performance.
Co-star Anne Baxter is one classic actress I usually don't care that much for. But, in I Confess, Anne is luminous as Father Logan's former love, Ruth Grandfort. Also, watch for Karl Malden, who only one year later would play a priest himself in On the Waterfront. He is perfect as the obnoxious detective you just love to hate.
All in all, I think the "Master of Suspense" hit the nail on the head with another classic, well-made film. If you haven't yet watched, I Confess, make sure to find a copy!
Posted by emme at 8:02 PM