Tuesday, December 10, 7:30 p.m.
(Alfred Hitchcock, UK 1929, 85 min., 35mm)
Silent Tuesdays. The portly young director of nine silent films—and only one other thriller among them—crafted Britain’s first all-talking feature, a tense tale of a young woman (Anny Ondra) whose guilty secret threatens her and her policeman boyfriend (John Longden). The exciting visuals proved that sound films didn’t have to be “talky” (it was also successfully released as a silent film). The film was an international success, bringing attention both to Hitchcock and the rapidly expanding British film industry. The ghostly, almost experimental soundtrack is the result of primitive ingenuity, as Ondra’s thick Czech accent didn’t translate well to English dialogue. Instead, she lip-synched her lines phonetically while another actor spoke them live off-camera.