Deathly Americana; not as fun or spine-tingling as other Hitchcocks, but who's complaining? Hitch's favorite among his own films was based on the case of the real-life "Merry Widow Murderer," Earle Leonard Nelson, a mass strangler of the 1920s. The sly Hitchcock made this chiller all the
more frightening by having his crafty homicidal maniac intrude into the tranquility of a warm, middle-class family living in a small town, deeply developing his characters and drawing from the soft-spoken Joseph Cotten one of the actor's most remarkable and fascinating performances.
At the beginning of the film, Charlie (Cotten) is shown wooing and then murdering a woman for her...