Hello again, and welcome back to Weekly Hitch – the blog wherein I watch all of Hitchcock’s movies in chronological order and you read, like, half a blog-post and then skim a bit because seriously who has time for this?
This week I watched Hitchcock’s last official silent film, and his first real adaptation of a novel, 1929’s religious-allegory/morality-tale/melodrama The Manxman. So buckle up, because things are about to get Hitchy.
It’s lucky number seven at Weekly Hitch, as I continue my quest to watch pretty much all of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies in chronological order and with a violent and angry panther gnawing on my leg. Except without the panther.
This week we watch one of the oddest and most curious instalments in Hitch’s body of work, and one which he would later remember as, “the lowest ebb of my output.” But does the film deserve such harsh reflection, or is it just a bubbly and frothy cocktail of joy? We shall find out, with Hitchcock’s 1928 silent comedic-drama – Champagne.
Six weeks along on Weekly Hitch, and we find ourselves – and Hitchcock – at a crossroads, as he undertakes his first comedy, and his first film in a rural setting. It’s 1928’s silent adaptation of the popular stage comedy, The Farmer’s Wife.
Weekly Hitch is a project in which I watch as many of Hitchcock’s films as possible, in chronological order, week by week. It’s like a really nerdy friend sending you letters about movies, except it’s me and all the movies are by one person and it’s on the internet and also you’ve got nothing better to do.
Welcome back, if you are indeed back, to week five of Weekly Hitch – the blog in which I watch as many of Hitchcock’s films as possible, in chronological order, and then analyze them in far too much detail, while also being not quite insightful enough. Basically, it’s like a film nerd’s podcast, but written down.
This week, we journey with Hitch to a new film company – a new producer, new actors, new cameraman, and a new writer… Hitchcock himself! It’s an impressive, and expressionistic feast for the eyes – it’s 1928’s The Ring.
Welcome back to Weekly Hitch, where I watch most of Hitchcock’s movies in chronological order for a year and then try to make you read about it. It’s like having a friend who is a huge movie-nerd, only you don’t also have to come to my birthday party. (Please come to my birthday party)
Four weeks in on the project and we are still just 2 years into Hitch’s directing career – as we plunge into a emotional and moralistic world in Hitchcock’s 1927 silent film dramatization of Noel Coward’s play Easy Virtue.
Welcome back to Weekly Hitch, where I watch most of Hitchcock’s movies in chronological order for a year and then try to make you read about it. Sort of like a school, but you don’t get tested or graded and I don’t know if you’re here.
For this third week, we continue on through Hitch’s early silent films at Gainsborough Studios, with his follow-up picture to The Lodger – a melodrama about the dangers of women and honesty, and Hitchcock’s fourth film; 1927’s Downhill.
Welcome to the second week of Weekly Hitch, in which I watch most of Hitchcock’s movies in chronological order for a year and then try to make you read about it. Fun, right?
For week two of the project we arrive at Hitchcock’s third film, 1927’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. Hitch’s second film, The Mountain Eagle, is considered lost and may never be seen again – so we had to skip over that and continue on with a really great and pivotal film – a movie that Hitch himself would later call “the first true Hitchcock picture.” So let’s get the week underway with, The Lodger.
And so, Weekly Hitch begins with the 1925 silent melodrama, and Alfred Hitchcock’s first complete and surviving film as a director; The Pleasure Garden.
For the sake of format, we’ll start with a bit about the story of the film, then my own broad impressions, and then we can get a little deeper into the history and making and interesting bits about the film. Since we’re all new to this, I don’t see much harm in feeling our way together. After all, as Hitch often said – “It’s only a movie.”
Before I begin Weekly Hitch in earnest, I thought it best to go over a little bit about Hitchcock’s early life and formative years – a sort of primer for those who may not know much about the man – and a refresher for myself and those who do.
I’m not generally one who believes that you can trace every aspect of an artist to their upbringing and history – but, I do think there are some elements of Hitchcock’s life and family and childhood which will help us in future attempts to trace his influences and artistic choices over the course of his career. So, we’ll begin – as they do – at the beginning.