Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dvd/150: DOWNHILL (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927)

Hitchcock attempted to repeat the success of THE LODGER by teaming up with Ivor Novello again for the odd DOWNHILL.

It is hard to understand Novello's popularity nowadays.  DOWNHILL is based on one of his plays and what is without doubt is that Novello wrote himself a whacking star vehicle.


Novello (aged 34!) plays public schoolboy Roddy, disowned by his father when expelled for getting a tarty shopgirl pregnant (although his friend did the deed).  Roddy gets a job in a theatre and when he receives an unexpected bequest, he marries the play's avaricious leading lady (Isabel Jeans).


After she rinses him of his money and house, Roddy flees to Paris becoming a reluctant gigolo for a female pimp.  Sick of his life, he ends up destitute in a Marseilles flop-house. Can he find redemption?

Nice performances and Hitchcock's evolving mis-en-scene can't help this runaway star vehicle.


Shelf or charity shop?  Despite Novello, shelf...

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