Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hitchock, etc. (for Hitchcock)

Continuing along with yesterday's theme of cute and geeky child actors, today we're featuring the memorable Edna May Wonacott, a complete novice who got her start in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, filmed on location in her hometown of Santa Rosa, California. The film (with screenplay by Thornton Wilder) was purportedly Hitchcock's personal favorite, and is definitely one of mine. It's the story of a devoted niece and namesake (Teresa Wright), her smart and skeptical kid sister (Wonacott) and oblivious little brother (Charles Bates), their dotty, trusting parents (Henry Travers and Patricia Collinge), and unctuous Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten), who suddenly shows up on their doorstep without much of an explanation. Wonacott plays that frequent Hitchcock character (frumpy, quirky, bookish, wise, and often ignored by the others; another one I love is the ornithologist, Mrs. Bundy, in The Birds), the one who can see most clearly and dispassionately the evil that surrounds them. There were 19 cases of Hitchock, five of Hichcock, and five of Alfred + Hitchock lurking in OhioLINK this morning.

(Edna May Wonacott and Teresa Wright contemplating a quick trip to the library, in Shadow of a Doubt, 1943, from Toutlecine.com.)

Carol Reid

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