The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

ALFRED HITCHCOCK Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.  United Kingdom, 1927.  Gainsborough Pictures, Carlyle Blackwell Productions.  Screenplay by Eliot Stannard, from the novel and play by Marie Belloc Lowndes.  Cinematography by Gaetano di Ventimiglia.  Produced by Michael Balcon, Carlyle Blackwell.  Production Design by C. Wilfred Arnold, Bertram Evans.  Film Editing by Ivor Montagu. This early classic by Alfred Hitchcock shows the master…

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The Ladykillers (1955)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Positively hysterical comedy that makes for one of the very best of the Ealing films made in Britain in the fifties. Alec Guinness, under heavy makeup and a false Cheshire cat grin, rents a room from a doddering old lady (Katie Johnson), charming her with his gentlemanly ways. She insists that…

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Man Of Aran

BBB.5 (out of 5) Robert Flaherty’s interpretation of the word “documentary” is one that would definitely not be accepted today. Showing up on the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland with the intention of filming its rough, primitive life, and disappointed by the fact that its inhabitants had more or less caught up with…

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Passport To Pimlico

BBBB (out of 5) The exploding of an abandoned World War II bomb creates more trouble than anticipated in the post-war London neighbourhood of Pimlico. The explosion reveals a buried hoard of treasure that is traced back to the last Burgundian ruler, along with an ancient decree that the land that Pimlico rests upon belongs…

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Secret Agent

BBB (out of 5) Weirdly uneven Hitchcock mystery about a British soldier (John Gielgud) given a false death record against his own will and recruited into the government’s secret service operation. Based on a story by Somerset Maugham, the film soon finds Gielgud being introduced to his new partner (Madeleine Carroll), who is posing as…

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The 39 Steps

BBBB (out of 5) This and The Lady Vanishes are generally audience favourites of Hitchcock’s pre-Hollywood years. It establishes for popular audiences a major theme in many of the master’s films, that of the lone man who is a wrongly accused character. After helping a beautiful spy who needed a hideout, Canadian visitor to England…

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

BBBB (out of 5) Hitchcock remade this film twenty years after the original British production, and which one is better depends on who you ask (the maestro himself preferred the later version). While a married couple are on vacation in the Alps with their teenaged daughter, a friend of theirs is shot before their very…

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Dead Of Night

BBBB.5 (out of 5) When a British architect is invited to a country home to consult on a remodelling plan, he enters in the middle of an afternoon party and announces that, strangely enough, he has viewed the scene before. When the guests ask him what he means, he tells them that he has had…

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The Lavender Hill Mob

BBBB (out of 5) Alec Guinness is a riot as a doddering bank employee who decides to pull off a heist and be rich for the rest of his life. Teaming up with a skilled robber (Stanley Holloway) and assembling a team of thieves, the lot of them concoct a plot to steal the gold bars…

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