Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened. —IMDb
Alfred Hitchcock has been the most well-known director to the general public since the 1940s – and he remains so in the 21st century, more than 25 years after his death. His name evokes instant expectations on the part of audiences around the world: of a memorable night of movie-watching highlighted by at least two or three great chills (and a few more good ones), some striking black comedy, and an eccentric characterization or two in virtually every one of the director’s movies across a half-century – and usually laced with a comical cameo appearance by the director himself.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born into a devoutly Catholic family in London, and his religious upbringing – with its attendant issues of guilt – would have a powerful influence on the psychological underpinnings of his later work. He was trained at a technical school, and initially gravitated to movies through art courses and advertising. He studied the work of other filmmakers, most notably the German expressionists… read more
The use of sound is quite interesting in this early sound film. Some of the subjective uses of sound are like the subjective distortions of sight in Murnau's Last Laugh. And the way one is watching a silent feature at the beginning that slowly gains sound, or the car horns when Alice is wandering around. Also quite a revelation how great stretches of silence without nondiegetic music can be!
Hitch's first talkie and already sound is used as a tool of oppression. The arrival of sound signals certain shifts in his cinematic style, favoring long takes instead of shot and reverse shots. However, still the best segments are the scenes conceived as silent.
A roundup of Cannes news on the day before the lineup’s announced.
A real-time comparison of the silent and sound versions.