Jump to: navigation, search

Yorkshire Post (22/Jan/1929) - Hall Caine and Alfred Hitchcock



Hall Caine and Alfred Hitchcock

Since Mr. Alfred Hitchcock went under contract to British International he has probably had no very free choice of stories to direct. The strong drama of "The Manxman," from Hall Caine's novel, which was trade-shown in London yesterday, is not ideally suited to his style. This kind of story has to be treated as a photographed narrative, and Mr. Hitchcock's real business is to make films. If I were a millionaire I would invite him to make three films entirely after his own choosing.

"The Manxman" by now is also definitely old fashioned. We cannot believe that as the result of her lightly given promise the innkeeper's daughter would be forced into an unhappy marriage with a man she does not love, and even driven on into still further depths or concealment. But Mr. Hitchcock is always capable, and "The Manxman" as a film is distinctly above the average of British pictures. Carl Brisson, who plays the young fisherman, has his rather limited range of expression tested much more severely than it was in "The Ring," and he comes through very creditably. Anny Ondra — reminiscent at times of Lilian Gish — is good as the girl — she is a Continental acquisition who should prove of value to British studios. There are moments — particularly in the use of the flashing lighthouse in the early scenes — when Mr. Hitchcock's individual touch is apparent in the direction: but be does not get enough opportunity tor pure pictorial expression, an d he cannot prevent certain episodes from playing rather stiffly.