Irish Film Institute -THE MANXMAN



100 minutes, U.K., 1929, Silent, Black and White, D-Cinema

This screening will feature live musical accompaniment by pianist Saramai Leech.

Like The Ring (screening on March 3rd), this is a rigorous triangle drama: one woman, two men. She too is played by a great silent star: Annie Ondra, soon to be Alice White in Blackmail. In both, Ondra is a highly sympathetic victim figure, caught agonisingly between difficult parents and unworthy men.

Hitchcock always spoke dismissively of The Manxman as being too close to its source, a then-celebrated island-set novel (by Hall Caine), and as a silent film already being overtaken by the drive to synchronised sound – it made little impact at the time. But it stands as a wonderful example of the power of the mature silent medium, and of Hitchcock’s career-long empathy with the figure of the sexual woman within a patriarchal society. Unsurprisingly, the theme of pregnancy outside marriage made it entirely unacceptable to the Irish censor. 

A restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL.

This event is part of The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock: Part Four, the final part of our complete retrospective of Hitchcock’s 52 surviving films (March 2nd – 31st).

Book Tickets