Larita Filton is named as correspondent in a scandalous divorce case. She escapes to France to rebuild her life where she meets John Whittaker. They are later married, but John's well-to-do family finds out Larita's secret. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
While many have dismissed this silent film of Hitchcock as an insignificant work, I found this film anticipates the virtues of the later works of the director. Hitchcock often relied on strong stories/scripts/plays whether it was du Maurier or Ernest Lehman or Ben Hecht or Anthony Shaffer to make his cinema tick. In this film it was the brilliant playwright Noel Coward. Just as "Frenzy" (script of Shaffer) ends with the words " you are missing your tie," the final words of "Easy Virtue" are the explosive "Shoot! There is nothing left to kill." The word "shoot" refers to the cameras of the paparazzi not guns.
Visually, Hitchcock would revert to the same scene in "Notorious", in "Torn Curtain" and even as a weapon of defense in "Rear Window." The underscoring of the irony of final scenes of Hitchcock films are interesting to note. Coward and Hitchcock were really sensitizing the viewer on the social perceptions of marriage and divorce. Coward and Hitchcock seem to ask us the connection between slandered reputation and "easy virtue." In "Blackmail" the jester (the painting) seemed to scoff at the so-called justice meted out by the law keepers in final sequence.
Visually the most poignant shot (repeated twice) in the film is the shot of the judge's wig from above his head as he looks up. The interiors of the sets seem remarkably similar to scenes from Russian (Eisenstein's "Ivan the Terrible") and German expressionist cinema. Who should be credited more for what the film offersCoward or Hitchcock. Probably both, in equal measure.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?