EASY VIRTUE
1927, British Film Institute, 69 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

This adaptation of Noel Coward’s play skewers high-society hypocrisy with a couple of familiar faces from the director’s DOWNHILL, Isabel Jeans and Robin Irvine. Suspected of adultery, Larita Filton (Jeans) is divorced by her husband and flees the scandal for France, where she meets a young man (Irvine) unaware of her past. They marry, but soon Larita’s reputation as a woman of “easy virtue” returns to haunt her.


THE FARMER'S WIFE
1928, Rialto, 107 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Farmer Sweetland (Jameson Thomas) has been a widower for years when his daughter’s marriage inspires him to look for a new wife. Methodical in his search for a bride, he enlists his steadfast housekeeper, Minta (THE RING’s Lillian Hall-Davis), to help him come up with a list of possible spouses - who each put the proud Sweetland through the gauntlet. Hitchcock’s sense of humor is rarely shown to better effect than in this touching film.


CHAMPAGNE
1928, Rialto, 105 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

In this effervescent romantic comedy, British star Betty Balfour plays a spoiled rich girl whose free-spending ways inspire her father (Gordon Harker) to play a trick that will teach her a little frugality - and test the true intentions of her fiancé. Though the film is far afield thematically from the director’s later work, Hitchcockian touches bubble up from the opening Champagne glass shot to the surprise ending.


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