Dir /Scr: Alfred Hitchcock
Pho: John J Cox
Music: Stephen Horne (newly composed score)
Prod Co: British International Pictures
Cast: Carl Brisson, Lilian Hall Davis, Ian Hunter, Gordon Harker
1927 / UK / B&W / DCP / Silent with score / English Intertitles / 108min
After finding fame with The Lodger, Hitchcock installed himself in the director’s chair at British International Pictures for the first time to direct a script – his one and only original screenplay – that uses his familiar London working-class milieu as a setting for a love triangle unfolding in the boxing arena, preceding Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980) by half a century. Eschewing crime and the fugitive theme, the film’s title refers not only to the boxing ring, but also to the wedding band that binds the fairground boxer, Jack ‘One Round’ Sander, and his lover Mabel together and the threat to their relationship symbolised by an arm bracelet given by a professional boxer, Bob, Jack’s rival whose charms Mabel falls for. As the story moves into a crowded marriage of three, the characters are caught in a paradoxical tug-of-war of love and career. Dazzling images of fairground lights, interspersed with stunning montages of the hot surge of emotion flowing inside the boxing ring, were premiered in London to rapturous applause. A modern-day audience only needs to look at the ingenious use of dissolve, the classic cinematic transition of time and place that has since become widely used, to appreciate the pioneering qualities of his work. The Ring enjoyed a new lease of public favour in the 1950s when French New Wave masters Rohmer, Truffaut and Chabrol began re-evaluating and raving about it in Cahiers du Cinéma.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
*Post-screening talk with William Cheung, in Cantonese
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