Shadow of a Doubt

Published: 2021-09-27 07:10:03
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Category: Philosophy, Time, Alfred Hitchcock

Type of paper: Essay

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Plot consists of "everything visibly and audibly present" shown on the screen which Is also known as mils-en-scene (Borrowed & Thompson, 2010, p. 80). This includes Endicott materials, such as a series of shots that are presented outside the narration (e. G a flashback) and also music, that does not affect the characters in the film as they cannot hear or see them. What is the benefit of making a distinction between story and plot? The distinction between story and plot occurs because the plot consists only of explicitly presented events.
Off-screen activity Is not a part of the film's plot - this content belongs to the story alone. From this we can see hat explicitly presented events are common to both the story and the plot. However, plot can present Endicott material such as images and sound, can further assist the viewer in developing an understanding of the plot and therefore the story. For example, in Shadow of a Doubt the repeated images of a dance scene set to the Merry Widows Waltz, is neither heard nor seen by the characters in the film.
It is intellect. This distinction gives us the tools to analysis what the narrative is doing with time, specifically order (chronology, flashbacks, flash forwards), duration (length f time) and the frequency (how often event Is revisited In the plot). What Is the relationship between the story and the plot in this film? What does the difference between them tell us? How are order, duration and frequency used in the narrative to manipulate time? In Shadow off Doubt the events are organized in chronological order.

The story begins in Philadelphia and then travels to Santa Rosa where it remains for the duration of the film. The opening scene puts the viewer In the middle of the action but deliberately keeps them In the dark about the Vat' and Why of the scene. Information presented in the plot is deliberate to give the audience enough information to guess the beginning of the story. Only the Endicott material, the images of the dancers are presented to us out of sequence. These images may be a flashback to uncle Charlie's life or they may be purely Endicott.
The viewer is never told If there is any physical connection with these and Uncle Charlie, however the viewer can conclude that from the evidence presented that this Is where the most recent murder took place. The duration of the film Is separated Into three segments; the story duration, the plot duration and the screen duration. The duration for the story and the plot in Shadow of a Doubt are quite different. The story takes place over several months or possibly several years. There are a range of inferred events which the viewer never witnesses.
The murders of the wealthy widows occur earlier in the story, before we first meet uncle Charlie; however they incrimination of Uncle Charlie by his niece. Out of this week, only portions are shown to make up the total screen duration which lasts 108 minutes. 2. Opening and Closing Scenes What expectations are set up in the opening scene of this film? How is character established? Shadow of a doubt opens with the credits rolling over a ballroom scene which will play an important role throughout the film.
The audience is brought into the story Just as a series of events is initiated, to create interest. The audience expectations are set from the opening scenes. Whilst relaxing, Uncle Charlie is informed that two men are looking for him. Proving to be quick witted he gives them the slip, before arranging to leave town. At this point the audience expects that Uncle Charlie might have been wrongly accused of a crime and is being chased by police. Uncle Charlie, as a character, creates a rather smooth enigma to which the audience is drawn, making them hesitant to incriminate him.
So far his main goal appears to be escaping the two men. The reaction from young Charlie and her family to her uncle coming to visit is very positive, setting the expectation that this visit is going to be a wonderful break from the humdrum everyday life. How are characters established in the opening scene? This opening scene establishes Uncle Charlie as an inscrutable character. He first appears lying in a rather Drachma like position on his bed in what can be described as lower-class surroundings. The appearance and bearing rather out of place with his working-class setting.
The miss-en-scene adds to his mysterious enigma, particularly the lighting, with the shadows from the windows resembling prison bars. The discarded notes scattered on the floor and nightstand carries certain contempt for money whilst his violent reaction to the news that he is being followed, raises the question that he may belong to the criminal underworld. Young Charlie is introduced lying on her bed in the same manner; however her settings could not be more different. The camera shots of her house and suburb, place her in an upper middle class setting.
The lighting is brighter and the quaint girlishness of the room's dcord implies a young innocent girl, lost in the world of wishful thinking. Her posture is more open and thoughtful, with her mind being rather taken with the idea of idealistic world that Uncle Charlie would help create. Her thoughts seem to mirror Uncle Charlie's when she shows contempt for money. Looking at the closing scene, how have the elements established in the opening scene been transformed into a new or different situation?
The development of the characters from the opening scene is cleverly played with Uncle Charlie's figure developing from mysterious business man into a full blown murdering sociopath. This darker side of him is triggered through the actions of Young Charlie who, through a series of events, finds out the truth about her beloved uncle. Throughout the movie we see less and less from Uncle Charlie's point of view, narrowing his knowledge of occurring events. His dangerous side edges closer to the surface as he loses control over his persona.
As Young Charlie dissolves the enigma around her uncle she realizes that her idealistic roll does not exist, as everyone has a dark side including her. This said it is easy to see that young Charlie and Uncle Charlie are portrayed as total opposites. The closing scene is an expansion on this with Uncle Charlie and Young Charlie ironically transformation is exceptionally clear in young Charlie from a naive, idealistic girl to a more sensible intelligent woman. 3. Range and Depth of Information How does narration function in terms of range and depth of information in your film?
The narration of this film is arranged so that the plot implies the events that occurred t the beginning of the story. The range of knowledge given is mainly restricted to young Charlie and what she sees, hears and feels. This is done to engage the audience and to ensure they care about her, so a bigger impact is created when something happens to her. Some times the audience knows something before young Charlie, for example when Uncle Charlie gives her an engraved ring, the dance scene follows, leading the viewer to infer that it belonged to one of the dancing ladies, possibly murdered by Uncle Charlie.
The film also goes into the depths of the characters psychological states. We learn that young Charlie does not want the truth about her uncle to come out because of the effect it might have on her mother. Also Uncle Charlie's mental state is linked back to a childhood accident, and leaves that audience wondering if it was the reason that he is a sociopath. In general do you consider the plot to be withholding information for the sake of curiosity or surprise, or supplying information in such a way as to increase suspense (or, perhaps, both)?
In Shadow of a Doubt the plot both withholds information for the sake of curiosity and supplies certain information to increase suspense. For example, when Uncle Charlie rips out a newspaper article we do not see what it is that he is trying to hide. It is not until Charlie goes to the library that it is revealed to be about the Merry Widow Murderer's latest victim. This drawn-out event maintains the curiosity of the viewer by withholding information. The plot also supplies information to create suspense. The audience sees Uncle Charlie turning on the motor and taking the key of the car.
Then when he sends Young Charlie to the garage and locks her in, we see her struggle to turn of the motor before succumbing to the fumes, whilst in the souse Uncle Charlie is delaying the departure of the family. To increase suspense, we do not see what is happening to young Charlie until she is rescued. Where does the film sit in terms of the continuum between unrestricted and restricted narration? The style of the film leans more towards restricted narration. Before Uncle Charlie arrives in Santa Rosa we get a few shots into his previous activity but the scenes concentrate particularly on the family and in particular young Charlie.
At this point the audience knows a bit more about her uncle than she does. For example, we suspect that he possibly being chased by the police but we do not know what they are investigating. Later Uncle Charlie hides a newspaper story but we do not see what it was about until young Charlie, curious about his odd behavior, finds it. Thereafter, the narration is restricted to young Charlie, limiting the audience to what she finds out. An exception to this is the garage scene where we see Uncle Charlie starting the car and taking the key, making the audience aware of the trap to create suspense.
Where does the depth of story information sit in terms of the continuum teen objectivity and subjectivity? Shadow of a Doubt uses subjectivity with great affect concerning the depth of story information supplied. One particular scene is where the camera slowly zooms in on Uncle Charlie's face during his rant about greedy widows. The camera is positioned from young Charlie's point of view so we point Young Charlie interjects off screen, at which Uncle Charlie turns and speaks straight into the camera. Hitchcock purpose here was to engage the audience's minds and emotions to further draw them to the story.
Uncle Charlie is treated with objectivity to create a more intense enigma. We do not find out why he feels hatred towards rich widows, nor do we experience anything from his point of view. This objectivity is to encourage the viewers to side with young Charlie. 4. Causality How does causality (cause and effect) operate in two or three other scenes (besides the Opening and Closing scenes discussed earlier) in your film? The transformation of Charlie as she realizes her uncle is a sociopath, is initiated from the moment the detective tells her that Uncle Charlie may be a murderer. One of young Charlie's raids is noticing things no one else does.
She notes Uncle Charlie's hiding of the news story and also the engagement inside the ring. Seemingly insignificant at the time, the ring links through a series of scenes to determine the finale out come of the movie. Young Charlie's transformation from naive child in to knowledgeable women directly affects the motive of the narrative. This change begins and ends with the detective, Jack, who first plants the seeds of suspicion in her mind. Thinking through earlier events young Charlie concludes that all is not right with her uncle, therefore tenting a chain of events in motion.
She finds the newspaper article and links it to the engagement on her ring convincing her that Uncle Charlie is the murderer. This leads to her outburst at her uncle, who, realizing he has been discovered, takes back the ring. He then threatens and attempts to kill his niece to hide his secret. After his second failed attempt at killing young Charlie, she retrieves the ring. In a clever shot by Hitchcock, young Charlie enters down a staircase as her uncle is making a toast. He stops, taken aback and the camera tracks in on the ring on young Charlie's finger.

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