Lodger, The

A special screening of a restored print of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 thriller to tie in with the course on British cinema. ‘In truth you might almost say that The Lodger was my first picture,’ Hitch said in interview. Indeed, the film is a blueprint for some of the director’s later classics. The story is set in a London enveloped in fog and fear, where an unknown killer is preying on blondes. As terror builds into hysteria, the eponymous lodger (Ivor Novello) is suspected of being the murderer. The now-familiar Hitchcock tale of a solitary man hunted both by the authorities and a mob of relentless individuals operating outside the law is accompanied by a romantic sub-plot. Yet the plot points are of secondary interest. What is fascinating about The Lodger is the emerging Hitchcock motifs: the blonde as pre-ordained victim; the chase, and specifically the one man on the run; the device of a crazed knifeman in a boarding establishment and the frenzy this evokes in both the characters and the audience.
U.K., 1926. Black and white with tints. Silent. 76 min.

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