River Thames, London
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn. While it is best known for flowing through London, the river also flows alongside other towns and cities, including Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, and Windsor.
The opening scenes showing the discovery of a murder victim were filmed on the Thames Embankment.
The Daily Mail reported in February 1926 that Hitchcock was scouting for filming locations in the area around the Embankment.
The film begins with a travelogue-style flight along the Thames, taking in Tower Bridge and ending with an approach to London County Hall, where a politician's speech is interrupted by the discovery of a female corpse floating in the river.
As scholar Raymond Foery has noted, Hitchcock had initially intended to open the film with a sequence which followed the route of Regent's Canal and would end with the discovery of a woman's corpse in the canal. The choice of Regent's Canal provided a direct link with Hitchcock's own childhood, as it flowed close to where the Hitchcock family lived on Salmon Lane, Limehouse.
For one of the film's trailers, a dummy of Hitchcock was floated in the river.
Selection of film frames: River Thames, London
Notes & References
- Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, pages 208-9.
- Daily Mail (24/Feb/1926) - New British Films
- Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy: The Last Masterpiece (2012) by Raymond Foery
- Wikipedia: Salmon Lane Lock