|Walter C. Mycroft|
|Jack E. Cox|
|108 minutes (9,700 feet)|
|black & white|
|mono (RCA Photophone System)|
|British International Pictures|
An actress in a travelling theatre group is murdered and Diana Baring, another member of the group is found suffering from amnesia standing by the body. Diana is tried and convicted of the murder, but Sir John Menier a famous actor on the jury is convinced of her innocence. Sir John sets out to find the real murderer before Diana's death sentence is carried out.
After completing Juno and the Paycock, Hitchcock directed the short An Elastic Affair and was involved with the musical comedy review Elstree Calling.
Enter Sir John was the first of three detective novels written by Helen Simpson and Winifred Ashton (under the pseudonym of Clemence Dane) and published in 1928. The two then collaborated on Author Unknown (1930) and a follow-up to the first book, Re-enter Sir John (1932).
For several years, British International Pictures had been partnering with European studios to create bilingual productions — using a different cast, the foreign language version of the film would be shot at the same time as the English version. Studio head John Maxwell selected Enter Sir John to be such a production and Hitchcock travelled to the Süd-Film studio in Berlin to discuss a German version of the film — eventually released in 1931 as Mary.
The novel was adapted by Hitchcock and Walter C. Mycroft, with Alma Reville working on the scenario.
The German version was written by Georg C. Klaren and Herbert Juttke.
Filming began on both versions of the film in March 1930.
The production started before the screenplay's dialogue had been fully completed and Hitchcock encouraged the cast to improvise their lines during the unfinished scenes:
I would explain the meaning of the scene to the actors and suggest that they make up their own dialogue. The result wasn't good; there was too much faltering. They would carefully think over what they were about to say and we didn't get the spontaneity I had hoped for. The timing was wrong and it had no rhythm.
Filming wrapped during May and the editing of both versions of the film was completed before the Hitchcocks took a short break in August.
Release & Reception
In a December article reviewing the progress of sound films, The Times commented that "Mr. Hitchcock shows great ingenuity in the grouping and isolation of his sounds and a visual adroitness which constantly evades the obstacle of dialogue though it cannot altogether escape it."
Speaking to Truffaut, Hitchcock summarised Murder! as "an interesting film and was quite successful in London. But it was too sophisticated for the provinces."
For further relevant information about this film, see also...
- 1000 Frames of Murder! (1930)
- articles about Murder! (1930)
- web links to information, articles, reviews, etc
released in 2008
| Meurtre (1930) - Studio Canal (France, 2008)|
R2 PAL 1.33:1
released in 2007
| Murder! (1930) - Lionsgate (USA, 2007) - part of a box set|
R1 NTSC 1.33:1
| Murder! (1930) - Optimum Releasing (UK, 2007) - part of a box set|
R2 PAL 1.33:1
Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...
- hero falsely accused - in this case it's the heroine Diana
- the Hitchcock cameo - walking past the scene of the crime
Cast and Crew
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Frank Mills - assistant director
- Herbert Marshall - Sir John Menier
- Norah Baring - Diana Baring
- Phyllis Konstam - Doucie Markham
- Edward Chapman - Ted Markham
- Miles Mander - Gordon Druce
- Esme Percy - Handel Fane
- Donald Calthrop - Ion Stewart
- Esme V. Chaplin - Prosecuting Counsel
- Amy Brandon Thomas - Defending Counsel
- Joynson Powell - Judge
- S.J. Warmington - Bennett
- Marie Wright - Miss Mitcham
- Hannah Jones - Mrs Didsome
- Una O'Connor - Mrs Grogram
- R.E. Jeffrey - Foreman of the Jury
- Violet Farebrother - Jury Member
- Clare Greet - Jury Member
- Clemence Dane - original novel ("Enter Sir John")
- Helen Simpson - original novel ("Enter Sir John")
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Walter C. Mycroft
- Alma Reville
Notes & References
- ↑ British newspapers in February 1930 initially reported that Enter Sir John would be a trilingual production, presumably including a French adaptation.
- ↑ Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, page 136
- ↑ The Encyclopedia of Alfred Hitchcock (2002) by Thomas M. Leitch, page 223
- ↑ Hitchcock (1967) by François Truffaut, page 75
- ↑ The Times (19/Dec/1930) - Sound and dialogue films: recent experiments
- ↑ Hitchcock (1967) by François Truffaut, 77
|Hitchcock's Major Films|
|1920s||The Pleasure Garden · The Mountain Eagle · The Lodger · Downhill · Easy Virtue · The Ring · The Farmer's Wife · Champagne · The Manxman · Blackmail|
|1930s||Juno and the Paycock · Murder! · The Skin Game · Rich and Strange · Number Seventeen · Waltzes from Vienna · The Man Who Knew Too Much · The 39 Steps · Secret Agent · Sabotage · Young and Innocent · The Lady Vanishes · Jamaica Inn|
|1940s||Rebecca · Foreign Correspondent · Mr and Mrs Smith · Suspicion · Saboteur · Shadow of a Doubt · Lifeboat · Spellbound · Notorious · The Paradine Case · Rope · Under Capricorn|
|1950s||Stage Fright · Strangers on a Train · I Confess · Dial M for Murder · Rear Window · To Catch a Thief · The Trouble with Harry · The Man Who Knew Too Much · The Wrong Man · Vertigo · North by Northwest|
|1960s||Psycho · The Birds · Marnie · Torn Curtain · Topaz|
|1970s||Frenzy · Family Plot|
|view full filmography|