“I Confess”-Alfred Hitchcock Movie

i confess

Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1947. He grew up in England with an extremely devout Catholic family. He also later attended a strict Jesuit school. Thus religion was a major influence towards his films and cinematic productions. Hitchcock used the church as a model for many movies including I Confess. This movie explores the depths of the sacrament of reconciliation. In this film, Father Logan hears Killet’s (a caretaker of the church) confession of murder and is forced to keep it private in secrecy. This is because the sacrament of penance requires a bond of confidentiality between the ordained and the laity. Thus Father Logan takes on the sins of another person as if they were his own. This is similar to Jesus in the way he forgave of our sins. He vicariously took on our sins and then sacrificed himself to save the sins of others. Logan seemingly does this as well. The murder is later pinned on Logan, but he refuses to reveal Killet’s confessions at the expense of further incriminating himself. During this time period everyone turns on Logan except for his beloved friend and former lover Ruth. The same form of hysteria erupts in the bible as well. Similarly the Jews gang up against Jesus by plotting to put him on the cross. The only people who stand by Jesus are his faithful disciples (except for Judas) and his followers such as Mary Magdelene. Hitchcock uses the correlation between his dramatic story line with Christianity to establish a sense of good and evil to the viewers. At the start of the movie the good people are always affiliated with the church like Father Logan while the bad people are rather affiliated with more secular positions such both of the detectives. However through out the film, Hitchcock manages to evoke sympathy out of the audience towards each and every character. We, the audience that is, later receive the implication that even the priest himself has had an affair with the beautiful, voluptuous Ruth, a married woman. Although this was prior to him being ordained and there is no proof of sexual or immoral terms, it still displays that every human being sins. However it also shows that all people have two sides, and one of those is being a child of God. This again relays to common themes found in Christianity. One can see a similar theme in another film of his The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. In this silent film, an innocent man is falsely accused of being a serial killer. He is then also ganged up on by the community. However, he is not purely a one sided character as seen in other Hitchcock films. He later plans to murder the real killer himself, thus having sinister and sinful motives. Hitchcock had powerful movies, moving audiences across the country and even the glove. His religiously influence movies warmed our hearts through his career. Unfortunately, Hitchcock died on April 29, 1980 due to renal failure in Bel-Air.


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