A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
A serial killer known as "The Avenger" is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting's daughter is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
For the opening scene, where the Avenger's murder victim faces the camera and screams, Alfred Hitchcock filmed the scene by having the actress lie down on a large sheet of glass, with her golden hair spread out around her head. He then lit the actress from underneath the sheet of glass, and filmed her with a camera mounted on its side, with the lens pointed at a downward angle. This gave the appearance that the actress's hair (with its golden curls, so important to the murderer) was ringed in a halo of light. See more »
When Joe is talking to Daisy in the kitchen, the position of Joe's arms varies between shots. See more »
Tall he was - and his face all wrapped up.
See more »
A stranger (Ivor Novello) in fog-bound London seeks accommodation from a family and they provide him with a small apartment upstairs. Their blond daughter is drawn towards this fascinating and somewhat mysterious gentleman. Her parents become suspicious of the intentions of the lodger and they live in fear of her safety. There is a serial killer abroad in the foggy streets and who knows? this stranger could be that maniac.
It is interesting to view an early Hitchcock film as far back as the silent era. I am surprised at the quality (despite a few scratches here and there). The addition of music is rather overdone in my opinion but it does fill in the empty silence and does add a dramatic effect. No doubt in the early days a capable pianist (below the screen) bashed out some impromptu music to fit the mood of each scene.
It is an uncomplicated story but that does not mean the guilty person is easily recognized (if at all!) Hitchcock likes to tease with a lodger who has shifty eyes, who paces the floor (what an original idea to photograph through a transparent floor), who has the wall pictures removed and who creeps out silently at night.
I feel that the atmosphere created is exceptional. Certainly a bit theatrical with exaggerated eye expressions but compelling nevertheless.
When you see a film of this vintage you realise how much film production had already advanced in the 20's and without the aid of all our recent technological contrivances.
22 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?