Homage to Hitchcock - The Lodger (1927)
Chronological order for the Top Twenty Hitchcock Films.
The Lodger, though not Hitch’s earliest foray into the silent era of filmmaking certainly showed his capability and style to maximum effect. Based on the Jack the Ripper murders of the Whitechapel section of 1888 London, this is an attention grabber from the first scene.
Dated? Yes. But let’s ignore that.
And as my study of Hitchcock unfolded, the brilliance and talent of the man presented itself early on. To NOT recognize The Lodger as Sir Alfred’s first expression of uniqueness is a mistake. Any viewing of it must look at the film with the eyes of an audience nearly 90 years ago.
Think about that when you see the lodger arrive at the front door of Marie Ault and Arthur Chesney for the first time. Or, when he is heard pacing maniacally above the living room of the house. An early process shot by Hitchcock replaced the floor with clear glass and the footsteps of the man can be seen clearly from below.
Ivor Novello as the face scarf obscured mystery man lends a chilling languor to the role and question of “Is he?”
June Tripp as a potential next victim is gloriously smitten with the lodger, perhaps to her ultimate demise.
Viewers of the closing scene may find some solace in the realization that enraged mob rule is certainly not a recent phenomenon.
Just an ongoing consequence of the dark side of human nature.