I kind of loved this film. The way Hitchcock uses shadows and wipes is incredible and builds a sense of paranoia. Pair that with the Catholic guilt that the film is riddled with at its core (something one doesn't typically associate with Hitchcock or American cinema for that matter) and we find a deeply internal film that is a true gem in Hitchcock's massive oeuvre. I loved it!
Or ****? Not bad at all: but why a Catholic priest should turn down Anne Baxter is a bit implausible (mind you, Monty Clift was a left footer so maybe that's why) and why a priest should risk being hanged when the murderer has confessed to him is also stretching things a bit. Nice photography of Quebec-Ville, but surely 50% of the population aren't nuns and priests? Dmitri Tiomkin's score is laughably over the top.
Incredibly underrated Hitchcock. No, it's not on the level of his best work, but as Stonez says in the post immediately below this, it has a lot going for it both visually and thematically. And you should never need any prodding to watch anything that Montgomery Clift is in.
Think you've exhausted Hitchcock? Not if you haven't seen this gem, where a Bressonian religious hook gives Hitchcock's "wrong man" paranoia the context for a fascinating play on relative notions of guilt, crime, sin, virtue, and innocence. Atmosphere and visual brio—the kind that makes a dolly-in on the back of someone's head deeply ominous—is top notch. And if Clift was sent not to act but to appear, he did great.
Lesser Hitchcock thriller has a great visual style, but falls short in the story department. Despite a few solid suspense sequences, it's slow and talky - bogged down further by an unconvincing love story. Montgomery Clift is less than believable as the conflicted priest, though Karl Malden is good as a determined detective.