The Film (3.5/5)
When The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection was released on DVD, I immediately decided to take the pricey plunge and make the purchase. There were several films I hadn’t seen before and I, being a Hitchcock fan, felt like I probably would enjoy the ones on the set that I never heard of, and thus making the collection more than worth the purchase. One of those films was at the time, an unknown classic called I Confess. Considering the great reputation of the other highly regarded movies in the set such as North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, The Wrong Man and Foreign Correspondent, it’s easy to see why I Confess was by me and maybe others, often overlooked.
The story is about a priest, Father Michael Logan (Clift) who is accused and arrested for murdering a a very well-known lawyer. He actually knows who killed the lawyer, German immigrant Otto Keller (O.E.Hasse) but he cannot reveal it to the man in charge of the case, Inspector Larrue (Karl Malden); the reason for this is that Keller actually confessed of what he did in a confessional. Keller dressed up as a priest and murdered the lawyer. Withholding the evidence proves to be costly for Father Logan, who soon finds himself on trial for the murder, but miraculously is acquitted. Keller finally gets identified as the killer, thanks to his wife, who cannot bear to see Father Logan being attacked ruthlessly by a hostile crowd outside of the court.
While I admit that do enjoy other Hitchcock films more, I Confess is a wonderful classic drama, with a great cast including Anne Baxter who has a great role as Ruth Grandfort, the wife of a corrupt politician who was being blackmailed by the lawyer, and as a former lover of Father Logan. She tells a flashback of events leading to the lawyer’s murder, and inadvertently gets Father Logan into deeper trouble with the law. All of the cast members are terrific in their roles. A great film with a terrific climax, and of course no Hitchcock film is complete without a scene with the man himself, Alfred Hitchcock seen at the beginning walking across the screen. An interesting part of the script that Warner had removed from the story is Father Logan and lover, Ruth Grandfort would have a child, and the priest would actually be executed in the movie. That might have been too much for a 1950s audience.
Warner Archive presents I Confess its original full screen aspect ratio using 2K technology and a 1080p AVC encode; the results are just stunning. Excellent grey scale, solid blacks, great contrast. With excellent, sharp details; the movie has never looked better. As for the audio, Warner has gone with DTS-HD MA 2.0. Dialog is clear and the great music by Dimitri Tiomkin is just booming.
WAC provides some extras for this release, a making of documentary entitled Hitchcock’s Confession: A look at I Confess, a newsreel and a trailer. These were ported over from the DVD release.
I Confess is another classic drama delivered by Alfred Hitchcock. I’d call it an overlooked classic to some degree. The blu ray is another must for any Hitchcock fanatic. The excellent audio and video along with the couple of extras on this release make this highly recommended.