One of the underrated and overlooked films in the filmography of Director Alfred Hitchcock is the 1953 film “I Confess”, it stars Montgomery Swift as a priest who hears the confession of a murderer and finds himself the chief suspect in the murder investigation and has to prove his innocence without breaking his vows as a Priest. While it does not have the spectacle of his other films of the era such as “Strangers on a Train”, “North by Northwest” or “Rear Window” it is a very strong film and has all the tropes Hitchcock enjoys. Murder, a Wrong Man proving his innocence and an illicit love affair. The love affair aspect comes in the form of Anne Baxter who plays the priests former lover from before he was ordained and unwittingly gives the Police a motive to incriminate the Priest.
I won’t expand much on the plot because being a lesser known Hitchcock film it doesn’t get a great deal of circulation. There are no real big names in the film and it wasn’t a great commercial success and tends to get bundled into Hitchcock collections rather then get its own individual release, but it is no means a bad film or a lesser effort. The pacing is rather good and the direction is great if unremarkable for Hitchcock as there are no huge set pieces and his cameo is rather subdued as well. Perhaps if it had been a film with Cary Grant or James Stewart in the lead it’d be better remembered, though I couldn’t see Grant pulling off playing a Priest very convincingly.