Translation of silent intertitles had been simple, making it easy for films by Hitchcock and others to cross national boundaries; spoken dialogue made it more complicated and one early response was to produce a film in multiple language versions. After shooting scenes for Murder!, Hitchcock used the same sets, and often the same shots or angles, for this alternate version –with German dialogue and mainly German actors (though Miles Mander plays the husband of the murder victim in both).
The chance to compare the two films should be jumped at, but why not see Mary even if you missed Murder!? How well does it stand up in its own right, whether for German speakers or for those relying on translation back into English subtitles? This is the kind of fascinating scholarly experiment made possible by this restoration.
Screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part One (December 9th – 30th).