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Sight and Sound (1999) - The Lodger




"The Lodger" is reviewed.


The Lodger

Alfred Hitchcock; UK 1926; BFI; £15.99; B/W; Certificate PG

Adapted from a novel by Marie Belloc-Lowndes, Hitchcock's third completed feature is a contemporary variation on the Jack the Ripper story. A mass murderer with a penchant for blond-haired chorus girls is on the prowl on the streets of London. As the hunt for him intensifies, a mysterious stranger (Ivor Novello) turns up at the Buntings' house, looking for lodgings.

Baron Ventimiglia's camerawork accentuates shadows. Crucifix-like bars of light are seen to flicker across the lodger's face. Hitchcock's trick is to make a moody expressionist film in a specifically English context. The backstage badinage and colourful street scenes add a comic counterpoint to what might otherwise have seemed a grim, self-conscious study of a murderer. (MFB No. 510)