Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random Hitchcock: Murder! (1930)

This is Hitchcock's earliest straight-forward murder mystery in the talking era.  The story revolves around a young stage actress seemingly guilty of murder.  The scenario sets up that she is the only possible person who could have committed the crime.  Yet, after her conviction and sentencing to die on the gallows for the crime, one juror, who also happens to be a playwright that wanted to hire her for his new play, begins to have serious doubts about her guilt and decides to investigate.  He goes over the evidence over and over again in his mind, until he realizes that someone other than her must have been the room with the victim because of a glass brandy:  "WHO DRANK THAT BRANDY??!!"  From there he investigates, until he finds the true culprit and motive, finding out, that all the while she is waiting to hang, she is actually keeping secrets that could help herself out; she covering for someone--but why?  This was adapted for the screen by Hitchcock and Walter C. Mycroft from the novel Enter Sir John by Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson.  As I've mentioned before, this film's plot situations are turned exactly upside down in Stage Fright.  My copy of this, like all my copies of Hitchcock films produced by British International Pictures in terribly cropped.  I understand that there is a box set in Europe that corrects this...so I think I'll invest!

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