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The Filmgoers' Annual (1932) - The Skin Game




  • This is one of several articles from the early 1930s which falsely claims Hitchcock entered the film industry aged 16 — in reality, Hitchcock began working for Famous Players-Lasky in March 1921, aged 21.
  • The article claims Hitchcock worked on Fleet Street, which readers would have assumed meant he worked as an artist for a newspaper. In reality, he worked in the advertising department of W.T. Henley's Telegraph Works Company Ltd which was situated over a mile away on Blomfield Street.


The Skin Game

First played in London at the St. Martin's Theatre, in 1920, "The Skin Game" has remained perhaps the most successful play John Galsworthy has written. In the original cast, the part of Hornblower, the ruthless man of business, was played by Edmund Gwenn, and Amy Hillcrist, the equally ruthless woman of the aristocracy, was played by Helen Haye. Both these gifted artists appear in the talking picture, with an exceptionally brilliant company of supporting players, to make "The Skin Game" one of the most vividly English films yet seen. It is a happy result of the coming of talking pictures that actors and actresses hitherto seen hardly at all outside London may now be seen and heard throughout the English speaking world. No one may look at a picture of the superb quality of "The Skin Game," and still say with sincerity that silent films may come back again.

No one may look at the work of such players as Edmund Gwenn, Edward Chapman, C. V. France, Frank Lawton, John Longden, Helen Haye, Phyllis Konstam and Jill Esmond without realising, as Charles Chaplin has pointed out, how much vigour dialogue has added to motion pictures.

Alfred Hitchcock, who directed "The Skin Game" began work as an artist in Fleet Street, and soon gave evidence of the genius that is in him by leaving it. The truth is, that there was a difference of opinion between Alfred Hitchcock, then sixteen years of age, and his employer. The difference amounted to half a crown a week. Hitchcock thought he should have it as a rise. His employer thought not. They split! And a few days later the youth, who was to become Britain's leading motion picture director, began work as a designer and letterer of title-cards at seven and six a week more than he had asked of Fleet Street. Hitchcock proceeded to learn every department of film making, and, in 1925, with "The Pleasure Garden," made a sensational appearance as a director. His first talking picture, "Blackmail," remains a landmark in the history of British films.

His pictures include "The Lodger," "Downhill," " Easy Virtue," "The Ring," "The Farmer's Wife," "Champagne," "The Manxman," "Juno and the Paycock," and "Murder."

His work is distinguished by brilliantly original treatment. He is a creative director of real genius.