Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Scr: Eliot Stannard
Orig Story: Hall Caine
Pho: John J Cox Ed: Emile De Ruelle
Music: Stephen Horne (newly composed score)
Producer: John Maxwell Prod Co: British International Pictures
Cast: Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen, Anny Ondra
1929 / UK / B&W / 35mm / Silent / English Intertitles / 100min / Live Music Accompaniment
Pete, a poor fisherman, leaves the island to seek his fortune abroad and entrusts Kate to Philip, a lawyer, but the latter two quickly grow fond of each other. Theirs is a familiar story of boyhood friends falling in love with the same woman but it’s the superlative lead performance from Anny Ondra as the sensual, exquisite, self-tormented and tormenting tragic heroine that brings fresh insights into old and seemingly trite situations. Flickering through a myriad of emotions, her evasive eyes articulate the unspoken desires and moral struggles that keep gnawing at her conscience, the accumulation of suppressed emotions trigger a shattering denouement. A preincarnation of Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958) in more ways than one, Ondra set the bar for the pantheon of Hitchcock Blondes. Set against the dramatic seascape of crashing waves and treacherous rocks in a small fishing village in Cornwall, the film breathes new realism, imposing human fragility against the vastness of nature. The most accomplished silent film Hitchcock directed before making the transition to talkies.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
*Post-screening talk with Mary Wong, in Cantonese
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.