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The Informer (1929)

In Ireland, an IRA man betrays a killer to the police, thinking he is his mistress's lover.

Director:

Arthur Robison

Writers:

Benn W. Levy (dialogue), Liam O'Flaherty (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lya De Putti ... Katie Fox
Lars Hanson ... Gypo Nolan
Warwick Ward ... Dan Gallagher
Carl Harbord Carl Harbord ... Francis McPhillip
Dennis Wyndham Dennis Wyndham ... Murphy
Janice Adair Janice Adair ... Bessie
Daisy Campbell Daisy Campbell ... Mrs. McPhillip
Craighall Sherry Craighall Sherry ... Mulholland
Ellen Pollock Ellen Pollock ... Prostitute
Johnny Butt Johnny Butt ... Publican
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothy Green Dorothy Green
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Storyline

In Ireland, an IRA man betrays a killer to the police, thinking he is his mistress's lover.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 1929 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Informer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hungarian actress Lya De Putti's voice was dubbed--not with an Irish accent, as the character called for, but, for some reason, with an upper-class English accent. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits, the characters of Francis McPhillip and his mother are spelled with a single 'p' at the end, but in Francis's letter to Gypo, his surname is spelled 'McPhillipp' with a double-'p'... See more »

Connections

Version of Uptight (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like "The Jazz Singer", it's a hybrid film.
2 July 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Until I found "The Informer" (1929), I had no idea that the John Ford version from 1935 wasn't the first. I can understand why they remade the film so quickly, however, as back in the 1930s they remade EVERYTHING (or so it seems). Plus, the 1929 version was a mostly silent film....and remaking it in full sound made sense.

Unlike the American version, this British film does not talk about the IRA and the closest you get to this is when they talk about 'the Party'...which was perhaps a subtle nod to the IRA or Sinn Fein. I can understand this, as British audiences of the time wouldn't have flocked to the theaters to see a film sympathetic to the Irish cause. Think about it...only a few short years earlier the Irish gained their independence after a bloody civil war!

The film begins with a gang of criminals or anarchists (who knows?) talking about how a truce will begin with the police. However, only moments later, the police raid the place and the Chief of police is killed. Francis is admonished to run for it...but before leaving the country he stops to see his girlfriend. Unfortunately, she's fallen for Gypo and tells Francis. However, Gypo oversees them and assumes she's cheating on him....so he rushes to the police to inform them where the killer is hiding. Unfortunately for Gypo, someone oversees this and soon the underworld knows of Gypo's infamy.

"The Informer" is a hybrid film....pretty much a silent film with sound effects and music. However, 45 minutes into the film, suddenly there is dialog...and difficult to understand dialog because the sound technology they were using was poor. This is NOT unusual--many American silents were retroactively turned into 'talkies' by adding a few talking scenes....much like in "The Jazz Singer". In this case, I think they changed their minds mid-movie and switched it from silent to sound.

So is it any good? Yes...much of it's very nice...especially the cinematograpy. Also, the John Ford version suffers from some overacting...and oddly the silent is better acted in general. But given it's a hybrid film, I can easily understand why they re-shot the picture only six years later....and this time in 100% sound.


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