This is certainly one of the weaker Hitchcock films in the library for me, but it is still an innovative, beautifully shot film. "I confess" stars Hollywood star Montgomery Clift whose performance was great with the deep facial expressions he shown. Among the Hitchcock pantheon, this film is darker and full of dark tones and shadows making it one of his darker films. It also gives you the set-up of the murder much like "Stage Fright" that then leads to the consequences, plot twists and so on. For any Hitchcock fan, they will enjoy the film that may lack excitement, but has plenty of story drama.
Montgomery Clift plays a priest who hears the confession of church sexton O.E. Hasse. "I...killed...a man," whispers Hasse in tight close up--and, bound by the laws of the Confessional, Clift is unable to turn Hasse over to the police. However, police-inspector Karl Malden has a good idea who the guilty party is: all evidence points to Clift. It seems that the dead man had been blackmailing Anne Baxter, who was once in a factually innocent, but seemingly exploitable compromising position with Clift. Tried for murder, Clift is released due to lack of evidence, but he is ruined in the eyes of the community. Then it is Hasse's turn to make that One Fatal Error.
The story does not have much action or fast pacing scenes, other than the climax, which makes it very slow moving. However, the solid story and performances make up for it a little. Montgomery Clift was excellent and is a fine actor of his time. Alongside Clift's terrific deliverance was Anne Baxter who had an overly emotional kind of role, but did it nicely.
This film is a lesser Hitchcock because of Clift's refusal of acting but Hitchcock's wonderful eye remains in most of the shots. From the beginning with dark shots and all those 'direction' signs that eventually, point to the murder to the shots of religious statues Hitchcock's oeuvre delivers. Although too much acclaim this is considered one of Hitchcock's best, I still feel it lacks movement making it boringly enactive. Nevertheless, fans of this monumental director will likely enjoy "I Confess" as a film with nice edge.My Rating: 7.5/10