This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was ... See full summary »
This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was in the original as well. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Alfred Hitchcock's "The Lodger" is one of the best mystery/suspense films of the silent era. However, with the advent of sound, there was a huge push to remake these silents into new talking versions. While some might have applauded it, the results were not always positive. Take "The Phantom Fiend". It is a shabby remake of the original in every way--but the most glaring is the strange performance by the lead, Ivor Novello. While he was just fine in the Hitchcock version, her in the remake he's simply awful. Part of it was his bizarre accent he approximated for the film and part of it was his overacting. The intention was for the audience to suspect, like everyone else, that he was a psychopathic murderer. So why, then, did he overdo it so much? He behaves like a crazy man throughout the film and this made the ending all the more improbable. Having Hitchcock as the director of the remake might have solved this and a good director should have seen the deficiencies in Novello's characterization--but this one did not. My advice is just watch the original and let that be enough. If you do want to see "The Lodger", it's available for free download at archive.org--or just follow the link on IMDb for the download.
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