Los Angeles Times - 08/29/2004
"Considered by the French New Wave critics and theaters as one of Hitchcock's greatest films..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
In Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess, Father Michael Logan (Montgomery Clift), apparently a model of clerical piety, hears a killer's confession. Eyewitnesses point to a priest as the murderer and the sacrament of penance forbids Logan to speak out - even in his own defense - when circumstantial evidence targets Logan as the prime suspect!
Academy Award winners Anne Baxter and Karl Malden co-star as a former flame and a police inspector whose attempts to clear Logan only entrap him further. Filmed in Quebec on locations highlighting that city's Old World traditions, I Confess races toward a climax that's unforgettable. And in true Hitchcock fashion, you'll confess to being hooked all the way.
I CONFESS, from the play by Paul Anthelme, is based on a premise custom made for Alfred Hitchcock's fascination with the dilemma of an innocent man accused of a crime. Montgomery Clift plays Father Michael Logan, a priest who hears the confession of a murderer and soon finds himself framed for the crime. Circumstantial evidence mounts, painting an ever more damning picture of the priest's crime while he is bound by his priestly vows not to reveal what he has learned in confession. If other Hitchcock dramas such as SABOTEUR follow the plight of the innocent man through breakneck pursuits, I CONFESS succeeds on the strength of Clift's ability to convey the real anxiety of the moral dilemma he faces and the effects of the widening chasm between pious intentions and social disgrace. Strong performances are also given by O.E. Hasse as the bitter and murderous gardener Otto Keller and by Anne Baxter as the woman whose faith in Father Logan also threatens scandal.
This lesser known Hitchcock murder drama, based upon the play by Paul Anthelme, is compelling for its stark photography and symbolism. With I CONFESS, Hitchcock puts a moral twist on the theme of an innocent man charged with a crime he didn't commit. Montgomery Clift plays a pious young priest who hears a confession from a murderer and later finds himself accused of the crime. He is then torn between his vows of silence and his need to clear himself of the charge.