Since the recent BFI restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent work The Lodger, the film has been reexamined by historians and critics, who have singled it out as the first true thriller in the director’s canon. Based on a story by Marie Belloc Lowndes and a play titled Who Is He? (cowritten by Belloc Lowndes), The Lodger focuses on the hunt for a Jack the Ripper-style serial killer who preys on young blondes (natch) in foggy London.
Drawing on the ominous German Expressionist style of iconic directors F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, The Lodger features many of the themes that would dominate the director’s work and mark his signature style. The movie almost didn’t come to be as Michael Balcon, one of the major producers of the picture, almost shelved the film for good when alterations to the ending (surrounding the movie’s star Ivor Novello, whom the studio wanted to depict as an ambiguous moral character) displeased him. Film critic Ivor Montagu came to the rescue, however, recognizing the young Hitchcock’s talent, persuading producers to release the movie once more.
Watch The Lodger in full with us, below, and see history in the making. [Spotted via Open Culture]
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