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THE PLEASURE GARDEN

Director: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

90 minutes, U.K., 1926, Silent, Black and White, D-Cinema


This screening will feature live musical accompaniment by pianist Morgan Cooke.

After a five-year apprenticeship, Hitchcock here gets his first chance to direct, and signs himself in with amazing confidence: first literally, with a handwritten director credit, and then thematically, as showgirls descend a staircase to meet the creepily voyeuristic gaze of a male spectator.

From this opening, he and his guiding scriptwriter Eliot Stannard develop a morality tale of innocence against corruption: two men and two women, finally getting what each deserves. This strong framework provides scope for a series of powerfully realised scenes: a honeymoon by Lake Como, a poignant quayside farewell, madness and violence in the Far East.

A co-production shot in Europe, The Pleasure Garden struck producer Michael Balcon as having the feel of an American film, and it mixes American, European and British actors – an index, already, of Hitchcock’s precocious cosmopolitanism. 

A restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films.

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).

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