As you all may know, I tend to blog about random things. Today I feel like talking about Joseph Cotten. He was a brilliant, underrated actor who co-starred in the famous 1941 classic "Citizen Kane." I have only seen one film of his thus far. However, this one performance alone has influenced me to write a post about him.
This film is a gem from 1943 titled "Shadow of a Doubt." Alfred Hitchcock is the director of this (it is actually his favorite film that he made, so I always felt a connection to him in that way). "The Birds", "Psycho", and "Rebecca" are all wonderful films but there is something about this one that just stood out for me.
"Shadow of a Doubt" stars the lovely Teresa Wright as Charlie, whose Uncle Charlie (Cotten) (as she is appropriately named after him) is coming to visit her and the family. Throughout the film, she becomes suspicious of his shady behavior. I do not want to ruin this for anyone, so I will simply say that Uncle Charlie is not exactly the kind and lovable character he seems to be.
It is not often that an acting performance can break through your skin and reach right into your heart. Although he is basically a villain or "the bad guy" if you will, his dramatic portrayal of Uncle Charlie is so intense and so real, that it takes you right into the film.
Joseph Cotten became good friends with Orson Welles, who helped land him the aforementioned role in "Citizen Kane." Besides "Shadow of a Doubt", he appeared in "Duel in the Sun", "Potrait of Jennie", "Gaslight", "The Third Man", "The Steel Trap", and many other films. He sadly passed in 1994 at the age of 88 after battling a serious case of pneumonia.
I highly recommend seeing this film. I am going to update my Netflix queue with more of Cotten's films as I cannot wait to see more of his brilliant acting skills. Also, by visiting TCM.com, you can check out when his films will be aired.
Cotten was a beautiful man who will always be remembered in my mind for his grace, dignity, handsome face, and brilliant film portrayal. It is not everyday that an actor puts his heart, mind, and entire being into a film.