DOWNHILL
WHEN BOYS LEAVE HOME
1927, British Film Institute, 105 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Popular composer and performer Ivor Novello cowrote the play upon which this drama was based, and he stars as Roddy Berwick, a top rugby player at a tony English boarding school. Roddy takes the blame for his best friend when a local girl both had dated gets pregnant, and his life goes downhill from there. Told with minimal intertitles, this silent benefits enormously from Hitchock’s visual panache.


THE LODGER
THE LODGER: A STORY OF THE LONDON FOG
1926, British Film Institute, 90 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Director Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller was a box office success that put him on the path to become “the master of suspense.” Ivor Novello stars in the title role as a mysterious man who rents a room in London; as local women fall prey to a Jack the Ripper-type killer, the lodger comes under increasing suspicion. In the first of his trademark cameos, Hitchcock appears in the newsroom scene a few minutes into the film.


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