Sunday, May 13, 2012

Random Hitchcock: The Lodger (1927)

This is not just one of my all time favorite Hitchcock movies, or all time favorite silent movies (since I love them so); it is simply one of my favorites of all time!!    This is where one sees the future that Hitchcock has in the genre of the suspense thriller with murder plots that are twisted about.  It is very loosely based on the Jack The Ripper murder of 1888, in much the same way that Rope was based on Leopold and Loeb.  A killer called "The Avenger" is loose in London, murdering blond women (note Hitchcock's early blond obsession here).  At the same time a young man takes a room in a home with a young blond model as a family member.  Like in Blackmail, she is conveniently dating an inspector.  He becomes jealous of "the lodger" and allows himself to fancy that he is the killer the police have been scouring for.  In time, even the landlady is persuaded that he is The Avenger.  Problem is, he isn't...and he has to try to find a way to prove it.  The script was based on a play "Who Is He?," adapted for the stage in part by the author of the novel Marie Bellow Lowndes.  Her novel was entitled The Lodger:  A Story Of The London Fog, which is the full title of this film.  This another one of those rare occasions that the source material was penned by a woman in the Hitchcock film.  Also, though he took no credit for it, the script is Hitchcock's.

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