6.2/10
1,313
19 user 21 critic

When Boys Leave Home (1927)

Downhill (original title)
Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend's charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures.

Director:

Writers:

(as David L'Estrange), (as David L'Estrange) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ring I (1927)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two boxers compete for the love of a woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Patsy Brand is a chorus girl at the Pleasure Garden music hall. She meets Jill Cheyne who is down on her luck and gets her a job as a dancer. Jill is engaged to adventurer Hugh Fielding and... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Virginia Valli, Carmelita Geraghty, Miles Mander
Easy Virtue (1928)
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A divorcée hides her scandalous past from her new husband and his family.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall, Eric Bransby Williams
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After his daughter weds, a middle-aged widower with a profitable farm decides to remarry but finds choosing a suitable mate a problematic process.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Jameson Thomas, Lillian Hall-Davis, Gordon Harker
Champagne (1928)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A spoiled heiress defies her father by running off to marry her lover. But Daddy has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, Ferdinand von Alten
The Lodger (1927)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault
The Manxman (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A fisherman and a rising young lawyer, who grew up as brothers, fall in love with the same girl.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anny Ondra, Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen
The Skin Game (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An old traditional family and a modern family battle over land in a small English village and almost destroy each other.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Jill Esmond, C.V. France
Blackmail (1929)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After killing a man in self-defence, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood
Biography | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of Johann Strauss the elder and younger.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Jessie Matthews, Fay Compton
Murder! (1930)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam
Number 17 (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, but a detective is on their trail.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, John Stuart
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Ben Webster ...
Dr. Dawson
Norman McKinnel ...
Sir Thomas Berwick
Robin Irvine ...
Tim Wakeley
Jerrold Robertshaw ...
The Rev. Henry Wakeley
Sybil Rhoda ...
Sybil Wakeley
Annette Benson ...
Lilian Braithwaite ...
Lady Berwick
...
Julia
...
Archie
Hannah Jones ...
Dresser
Barbara Gott ...
Madame Michet
Violet Farebrother ...
Poetess
Alf Goddard ...
Sailor
Edit

Storyline

Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend's charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When Boys Leave Home  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2012) (theatrical) | (2012 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(sepia/black & white)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When the boys are talking to the school's headmaster, the distance they are from one another varies between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Dawson: I wish you had more boys like Roddy to send us, Sir Thomas.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Here is a tale of two school-boys who made a pact of loyalty. One of them kept it - at a price.

The World of Youth. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shepperton Babylon (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Different Hitchcock Experience in a brilliant drama
27 February 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In "Downhill", Ivor Novello's character life goes all downhill after a false accusation made by a girl who ruins his life as a rich schoolboy. He lost his only friend (Robin Irvine), abandoned his family after being thrown out of school, and all that happened because a pretty girl falsely accused him of getting her pregnant (there's a whole debate over what was the accusation because the film doesn't explain it so clear), which was a shocking thing at the time considering the societies conventions of the period.

In a stunning dramatic exercise, way before his suspense films Alfred Hitchcock presents in "Downhill" the story of a man who lost everything trying to protect others but not himself, rejected his father because the last didn't believe in him, calling of him a liar, but this man realizes that he made a big mistake but not telling the truth to anyone, living a low-life with people of inferior classes, marrying with another troubled girl and more. And everything (methaporically and literally) spins around and around over this poor guy, so it's all downhill.

This was my first experience on watching a Hitchcock silent film and it was a great pleasure to see how everything about it was brilliant, important, the way he moves with his camera, edition, direction of actors, the whole package. Novello's performance as the main character living in a constant delirant state, showing a sorrow that doesn't need to be overacted or appear to be so emotional, no, he has an expressive face that says more than we can see, you can feel his desperation and sadness in simple gestures. There's some bit humored parts (the fight between Novello and his wife lover at the apartment) that calm down the almost depressive story.

One of my favorite parts (and to you might sound pointless) is a transition scene that fools the viewer in a magic way. Right after Novello left home we see him working as waiter in a restaurant, attending a couple that walks away from the table and start to strangely dance followed by other people. The image opens up without cutting and we see a stage, musicians and a whole crowd watching the dancers scene, Novello and other waiters start to dance too and we are fooled because he's not a waiter, he is an actor in a musical play. It's a very humorous transition scene and way ahead of its time, very brilliant and well made.

I watched the film in the Public Archive (the link is present here on IMDb) so there's a few things to complain about their version, and another one that helped me watching the film. First: the final minutes of the film are missing, very significant five minutes (gladly, I found the missing part on YouTube). Second: their version doesn't feature the musical score presented in it which leads to the thing that helped me watching it; I selected classical musics to go with the film and that was very clever of my part, because the absence of sound (in this case) made me think on other things than the film, the problems of life and things like that. But after watching "Downhill" hearing instrumental music made the experience even better, and it wasn't distractive as I thought it would be. So my suggestion is that if you watch the film in the Public Archive do that, listen to Tchaikovsky, Strauss or film composers scores, that will help you a lot.

From the very first scene at the school with the boys playing in the park until the last similar scene at the ending, "Downhill" justifies only the story as being a downhill thing, because looking at its magnificence it's a memorable and upper film. One of Hitchcock's best works even though it's not a work of suspense. 10/10


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?