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I Confess


By Christopher Skokna | Posted 3/26/2008

Starring a ridiculously young and handsome Montgomery Clift as Quebec priest Father Michael Logan, I Confess (1953) is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's most well-known classics, but it has plenty to offer beyond playing spot the auteur motifs. Not that that isn't fun, especially since they're numerous and obvious here: an icy blonde (Anne Baxter), a wrong man (Clift), an insensitive police officer (Karl Malden), and German Expressionisms (the wonderful direction sign-filled opening scene), to name a few. Father Logan receives a confession from his church's handyman (O.E. Hasse), who has murdered a lawyer for his cash, a lawyer who just so happens to have been blackmailing Ruth Grandfort (Baxter) over her dalliances with Father Logan. As inspector Larrue (Malden) and prosecutor Willy Robertson (Brian Aherne) close in on Father Logan as their suspect, secrets spill out and Clift gets plenty of chances to scrunch up his eyes in frustration because he can't reveal what he knows. While lacking the humor and extreme suspense of Hitchcock's best movies, I Confess is perhaps his most beautifully photographed outing. And it features a deliciously twisty plot-though one slowed down by a too-long courtroom scene-complete with flashbacks that prove the director could have made a living making cheesy but gorgeous romance flicks if he had wanted to.

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