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Number 17 (1932)

Number Seventeen (original title)
A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, but a detective is on their trail.



(as J. Jefferson Farjeon), (play) (as J. Jefferson Farjeon) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Henry Caine ...
Mr. Ackroyd


Detective Gilbert is searching for a necklace robbed by a gang of thieves. In the beginning, the gang is in a house in London, then they are running away from police. It will not be easy for the detective to recover the jewel. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

7 November 1932 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

No 17  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock did not want to make this film. He had wanted to direct a prestige production of John Van Druten's play "London Wall," but to punish Hitchcock for the financial failure of his previous film East of Shanghai (1931), British International Pictures head John Maxwell took him off "London Wall" and put him on this film instead. Hitchcock himself has referred to the film as "a terrible picture . . . very cheap melodrama". See more »


Barton is shot in his right wrist early in the film, and his wrist is bandaged. The bandage is visible for most of the movie, but when Barton jumps in the water to save Nora, we don't see the bandage any longer. Barton is able to pull Nora to safety with his right arm, and afterwards when he is talking to Doyle, we still don't see the bandage, and Barton puts his right hand in his pocket repeatedly, not showing any sign of injury. See more »


[first lines]
Ben: Oh! Oh, Gawd! Oh, Gawd! Oh, Gawd! Oh!
Fordyce/Barton: How do you feel? Now, where's that candle? Here, have some of this.
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Featured in Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) See more »


I Don't Need a Television
Music by Harry Shalson
Lyrics by John Malvern
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

another early, unnecessary detour for the Master
3 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

NUMBER SEVENTEEN is one of the very few films Alfred Hitchcock made that has aged poorly. It's bizarre to find a movie he made that doesn't improve on a second viewing; even JAMAICA INN and THE SKIN GAME get better the more you look at them. Here's an unfortunate exception. While it doesn't lack merit as a rollicking little caper, the story is too confusing for the film to be enjoyed, and surprisingly enough the direction is clumsy and the whole thing ends up rather incoherent.

There may be a reason for this. Hitchcock made this in a hurry to get to a project he was eager to work on, RICH AND STRANGE, one of his most offbeat and personal films (actually released before this one). As a result, this very short and very stagy little comedy/thriller feels like the work of someone who didn't really care. While this is something that rarely happens in his catalog as director, you can sense the same thing to a lesser extent in STAGE FRIGHT and THE SKIN GAME, yet the technical competence of the former and the fine source material and performances of the latter make those more fun and interesting to see than this.

The real crime here is witnessing the failure of one of Hitch's only stabs at an old-dark-house mystery; it's a severe disappointment that he didn't explore the potential of the story to a greater degree. NUMBER SEVENTEEN is locked into its time and doesn't have anything close to the resonance of BLACKMAIL. To a fan of the director, it's essential but a bit off-putting.

One good point is the closing chase sequence, which takes up a major chunk of the movie's second half (the total running time is only an hour). Despite the obvious use of miniatures, it's amusing to see the director play with buildup and action in an otherwise dismal effort.

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