6.2/10
1,554
21 user 21 critic

When Boys Leave Home (1927)

Downhill (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 1928 (USA)
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

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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 6.3/10 X  

Two boxers compete for the love of a woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter
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
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
Easy Virtue (1928)
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A recently divorced woman hides her scandalous past from her new husband and his family.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall, Eric Bransby Williams
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
Champagne (1928)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, Ferdinand von Alten
Comedy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Believing that an unexpected inheritance will bring them happiness, a married couple instead finds their relationship strained to the breaking point.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, Percy Marmont
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
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
Biography | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story of Johann Strauss the elder and younger.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Esmond Knight, Jessie Matthews
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
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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Ben Webster ...
Norman McKinnel ...
Robin Irvine ...
Jerrold Robertshaw ...
The Rev. Henry Wakeley
Sybil Rhoda ...
Sybil Wakeley
Annette Benson ...
Lilian Braithwaite ...
Lady Berwick
...
...
Archie
...
Dresser
Barbara Gott ...
...
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

Taglines:

A College Hero round whom is woven a picture of Love and Treachery. (Print ad- The recorder ((Port Pirie, South Australia)) 3 July 1928)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When Boys Leave Home  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more 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 Roddy and the girl are dancing in the candy shop, a gramophone record of a tune called "I want money" is shown. It's on the old "WINNER" label. In a flash back, we see it once again playing on the record player, but in a further flashback, in a montage, the record has become a "His Master's Voice" disc. 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 Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Early Silent Hitchcock is Worthy Viewing
16 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

Classmates and close friends at an English public school, Roddy Berwick and Tim Wakely compete for the affections of a local shop girl. When the girl falsely accuses Roddy of getting her pregnant, he is expelled. However, Roddy remains silent to protect Tim, who was the guilty party, and the friends make a pact to keep silent. Outraged at his expulsion, Roddy's father does not believe his son's claims of innocence and throws him out. Thus, Roddy strikes out on his own, and his life begins a downward spiral from stage acting to a disastrous marriage to taxi dancing to the Marseilles waterfront. "When Boys Leave," also known as "Downhill," was Alfred Hitchcock's fifth completed film, and, early on in his career, the master director explores his oft-repeated theme of the wrongfully accused.

Shot in 1927, the film is silent with inter-titles, and the black-and-white cinematography is often well lit with striking visual compositions. However, Hitchcock generally holds the camera steady, and movement occurs within the frame. The film lacks the camera fluidity common among movies of the late silent era, although Hitchcock is already a master of visual story-telling, and the inter-titles are brief and sparse. As Roddy's life reels out of control, he is dwarfed by his surroundings in rooms with impossibly high ceilings and doors that are more than twice his height. Fortunately, Hitchcock elicits naturalistic performances from his cast, and none indulges in the grand style of acting that negatively stereotyped silent movies. Ivor Novello, a Welsh matinée idol best known for his musical talents, plays the suffering Roddy quite well. Isabel Jeans as Julia Fotheringale, a spendthrift actress, and Ian Hunter as Archie, Julia's shady lover, provide amusing support during one colorful episode in Roddy's descent.

"When Boys Leave" is from Hitchcock's apprentice period in England, when he was still learning the craft. While the story is thin, and the motivations vague, this short silent film shows flashes of the genius to come, and, for students of the master, every Hitchcock film is worthwhile viewing.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page