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Yorkshire Evening Post (26/Nov/1927) - Films of the Week



Films of the Week

"The Ring," trade-shown in Leeds recently, and now being shown at the Astoria Theatre, London, is not only one of the best sporting films every produced, by, in some respects, one of the best films of any description. It is the work of Alfred Hitchcock, the young English producer, whose sudden rise to fame is as romantic as any of the Hollywood real life stories.

Mr. Hitchcock is striving towards a new ideal in film production. He has realised that there are some things that can be done infinitely better on the screen than on the stage or in the printed book; and also he has realised that there are many theatrical effects it is almost impossible for the cinema camera to reproduce.

Take a simple instance — the emotions of a crowd at the ringside on the night of a big fight. What medium could one have equal to that of the screen? Yet "crowd stuff," as it termed in the film world, too often aims at mass instead of quality, and the minor, yet most intensely human, details are neglected.

In "The Ring," Mr. Hitchcock has take a story, written by himself, and adapted it to the screen. In many hands that story would have made a perfectly banal picture. It is often said that there are no new plots in the world, but this is certainly one of the oldest. The here, a fair-ground booth fighter, finds that his wife is falling under the glamour of the luxury and social excitement which surround the world's champion boxer, who, incidentally, has on one occasion given the hero a gratuitous hiding in the boxing booth. The film is concerned with the way the hero fights his way up to fame and fortune, and wins back the love of the wife he has almost lost; and it is extraordinarily powerful.

"One Round Jack Sander," the hero, is played by Carl Brisson, the Danish actor. It is true that Brisson looks British enough, and is a boxer — he was champion of the Danish Navy — but surely there might have been found, in our younger school of British actors, someone with enough acting ability, and enough knowledge of fisticuffs, to take the part, and make the film entirely British. Not that I am trying to detract in any way from Carl Brisson's performance, which is very fine.

Miss Lilian Hall-Davies is already a great favourite on the English screen, and some parts of her performance in this film are in her best vein, but I think, in the general conception of the wife's character and actions, Mr. Hitchcock has made a mistake. Many people will asl whether "One Round Jack Sander " was not more of a fool than a hero in wanting to win back the wayward affections of such a woman. Also, though melodrama is admittedly needed on the screen as it is today, there is something unpleasant in the way the repentant wife goes to her battered husband's corner, and arouses him, at the last moment, to a glorious final effort which wins him the fight;

In the fair ground scenes, which are surely among the best ever screened, Miss Davies, as the boxing booth cashier, is wonderful. Gordon Harker does some fine work, too, in the humorous line. The scene at the Albert Hall, where the final fight takes place, is brilliant, apart from the woman's intervention. The crowd has been filmed to perfection.

Mr. Hitchcock should go far. He is using the cinematograph for what it is honestly worth.