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 MANXMAN
1929, Rialto, 100 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

An innkeeper’s daughter (the luminous Anny Ondra) falls in love with a lawyer on the rise (Malcolm Keen) but agrees to marry the man’s fisherman friend (Carl Brisson) - whose temporary disappearance complicates all three lives. Anchored by a darker love triangle than that of THE RING (which also starred Brisson), this drama is set on the Isle of Man and was shot in Cornwall, displaying some spectacular scenery.


THE RING (1927)
1927, Rialto, 108 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Director Alfred Hitchcock was a boxing aficionado, and his first original screenplay is set in the ring. “One Round" Jack Sander (Carl Brisson) takes on all comers at the circus until he gets decked by a pro (Ian Hunter) and must fight to regain the affections of his girlfriend (Lillian Hall-Davis). Highly accomplished cinematography, editing and use of symbolism mark this as one of Hitchcock’s best silents.


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