Irish Film Institute -NUMBER SEVENTEEN



94 minutes, U.K., 1932, Black and White, 35mm

A modest attendance can perhaps be predicted for this obscure low-budget film which many, including Hitchcock himself, have disparaged – yet it is arguably the most rewarding of all his films to see and ponder, in making sense of the development of his career. The popular suspense play by Jefferson Farjeon, billed theatrically as a “joyous melodrama”, provides an unmistakable template for the thriller format with which Hitchcock would soon afterwards become newly identified.

Sinister house, fathers and daughters, overnight romance, race against time, and the first appearance of the famous ‘Maguffin’, the prized object for which the characters contend, holding the plot together even if means little to the audience – all of these are here, blended in a film which, after a careful exposition, explodes into an exhilarating action drama with a satisfying climax.

This film is screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Three (February 2nd – 27th), which is part of a complete retrospective of the filmmaker’s work running until March 2013.



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