Jonathan Stone for Art-Sheep
J. R. Eyerman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Shadow of a Doubt is a 1943 film directed by cinema master, Alfred Hitchcock. Even though it was critically acclaimed and is until now, one of the most famous Hitchcock movies, Shadow of a Doubt was met with various production problems, such as lack of financial resources.
The film industry got severely hit during World War II as the War Production Board imposed limits on film set budgets at $5,000 (aproximately 68,000 today’s dollars) in an effort to save on the materials. The master of horror, who usually spent at least $100,000 on movie sets, had to think of a solution that would be cheap and also of quality. What did he do? The answer is actually pretty simple; he shot in real life sets. For scenes that supposedly were taking place in New Jersey, the crew had to travel to New Jersey, and instead of making sets of buildings and public spaces, they shot in ready-made ones.
This way, Hitchcock spent under $3,000, creating a movie whose frugal production was not visible on film and was praised by the critics. As written in a TIME review, “Its horror is compounded by its setting.”