NUMBER 17
1932, Rialto Pictures, 63 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

This adaptation of J. Jefferson Farjeon’s hit West End play mixes suspense and farce as a group of people converge on the old dark house at the titular address, hoping to lay hands on a priceless diamond necklace (one of Hitchcock’s earliest “MacGuffins”). But no one is quite who they appear to be, and this rarely screened film will keep audiences guessing right up to the exciting finale on a runaway train. Starring Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey and John Stuart.


SABOTAGE
1936, Park Circus, 76 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

In this adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent (released in America as THE WOMAN ALONE), Scotland Yard investigator John Loder circles around movie theater owner Oskar Homolka and his wife, Sylvia Sidney, while trying to break up a terrorist network. Watch as the famous Hitchcock quote, about how a ticking bomb can distinguish between suspense and surprise, plays out on the streets of London.


BLACKMAIL
1929, Rialto, 75 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Shot as both a silent and a talkie (Britain’s first), this outstanding suspense thriller puts both Anny Ondra and police detective boyfriend John Longden to the test after a man is killed in self-defense and a blackmailer threatens to spin it as murder. BLACKMAIL is among the most involving of Hitchcock’s pre-war films. The climactic chase through the British Museum will leave you breathless.


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