I Confess

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"Crushed lips don’t talk."
  • NR
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 7.2  (23,174)
  • 68

In 'I Confess', Montgomery Clift takes on the role of Father Michael Logan, a priest who hears the confession of one of his former parishioners, Otto Keller, played by O.E. Hasse. It soon transpires that Keller has just killed a local lawyer and thief, Vilette, and in his confession, he reveals to Father Logan that he saw another man who was the actual killer. However, he doesn't reveal who the man is, and despite the pressure from Father Logan, he refuses to do so.

The situation takes a sinister turn when Keller is killed, and suspicions land on Father Logan. The priest had been seen burying the clothes he had been wearing on the night of the murder, and the police, led by Inspector Larrue, played by Karl Malden, believe that he's the real killer. Anne Baxter plays Ruth Grandfort, Logan's friend, and a former flame. She's also married to the man who is suspected to have killed Vilette, but the police have no evidence against him.

As a result, they turn their attention to Father Logan, using his confession to Otto Keller against him. This, however, is where things get interesting: Father Logan can't reveal what he knows, even though it might clear him of the murder. He can't break the seal of the confessional, as this would be a breech of his holy vows, and with his silence, he's left open to suspicions and accusations.

The relationship between Father Logan and Ruth adds another level of intrigue to the story, as their past is revealed through a series of flashbacks. Logan was in love with Ruth before he joined the priesthood, and the feelings between the two are still present, even though Ruth is married. This adds a conflicted layer to Father Logan's situation - he's not only fighting to prove his innocence, but he's also fighting against his own emotions toward Ruth.

Director Alfred Hitchcock creates a tense, atmospheric film that's enhanced by the black and white cinematography. The city of Quebec, where it's set, is used to great effect, with scenes shot in old churches, impressive sweeping landscapes, and Gothic cemeteries. The film's score adds to the tension, with eerie organ music, and the use of silence in certain scenes creating a sense of foreboding. The sense of claustrophobia is also palpable, with many of the scenes taking place in small rooms and cramped corridors, trapping the characters in their own mindsets.

The performances in 'I Confess' are excellent, with Montgomery Clift bringing a believable sense of duty and devotion to his role. Anne Baxter's portrayal of Ruth is fascinating, as she oscillates between her feelings towards Logan and loyalty to her husband, who's been wrongfully accused. Karl Malden is equally convincing as Inspector Larrue, who's hellbent on getting a conviction, but who's also struggling with his own conscious.

Overall, 'I Confess' is a gripping psychological drama that explores the themes of faith, loyalty, and guilt. It's a captivating film with excellent performances and an intriguing storyline that keeps the tension high throughout. Hitchcock's direction, combined with the performances by the cast, makes 'I Confess' a timeless movie that's as potent today as it was when first released in 1953.

I Confess is a 1953 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 68.

I Confess
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (23,174)
  • Metascore