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1937, BFI, 83 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Charged with murder, young Robert Tisdall (Derrick De Marney) figures he’s better able to prove his innocence on the run than in court; joining him on his quest for exoneration is the police chief’s equally fresh-faced daughter (Nova Pilbeam, the kidnapped teen in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and utterly beguiling here). The climactic crane shot revealing the real killer is justly famous.

1936, BFI, 86 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Based on stories by W. Somerset Maugham, this espionage tale stars John Gielgud as Richard Ashenden, a British officer dispatched to Switzerland to kill a German spy. Sent to assist him on the mission are seasoned assassin (and scene-stealer) Peter Lorre and Madeleine Carroll, who is posing as Ashenden’s wife – which does little to stop suave Robert Young from chasing her. With several years of sound filmmaking under his belt, Hitchcock makes brilliant use of such audio effects as a sustained organ note and a dog’s howl.

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.

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