Hitchcock was already in possession of a determinedly sophisticated grasp of form even in his early days, having transitioned from script writing and art direction (generally on the same movies) to direction still in his twenties. DOWNHILL is not by any stretch his finest work, but it does a commendable job of mitigating against its liabilities (not least of which is absurd matinee idol Ivor Novello).
>>> Une fort agréable surprise qui fut en partie reniée par le réalisateur en bisbille avec son producteur Michael Balcon et souvent en désaccord avec son acteur principal, qui pour notre part mérite une urgente redécouverte rien que pour son approche hitchcockien du faux coupable, une thématique souvent présente dans ses films... www.cinefiches.com
Very strong first half, but the "downhill" part was less engaging. Some powerful and witty moments here and there though, especially the scene building up to the monologue (yes, there is a monologue in a silent film!) is superb. Didn't care much for the daydream scene.
Though it's not a very Hitchcock-like picture and rather a melodrama than a suspenseful thriller, some of the filming and storytelling techniques that Hitchcock was so fond of in his later crime movies are already employed. To my point of view, the camera movement and the way in which shots are superimposed in the episodes where Roddy is hallucinating seem ingenious and pretty compelling. nice job