Irish Film Institute -MURDER!



U.K. • 1930 • BLACK AND WHITE • 35MM • 114 MIN

Murder! was not, as is often claimed, adapted from a play, but from a ‘whodunit’ novel — it just feels like a play, because of its theatrical setting and, as in Juno, the static quality of the dialogue scenes. But Hitchcock experiments as exuberantly with the soundtrack as he had in Blackmail, creating what was evidently the cinema’s first ‘interior monologue’: we hear the thoughts of Herbert Marshall’s theatrical knight as, while shaving (and, to complicate things, listening to the radio), he decides to fight the case of a young actress condemned on a dubious murder charge. The film is full of other formal pleasures as it moves towards its predictable happy ending, touching provocatively along the way upon themes of racism and, inevitably in a coded manner, homosexuality.

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