An actress is murdered by her estranged husband, who is jealous of all of her young boyfriends. The next day, writer Robert Tisdall (who happens to be one such boyfriend) discovers her body on the beach. He runs to call the police, however, two witnesses think that he is the escaping murderer. Robert is arrested, but owing to a mix-up at the courthouse, he escapes and goes on the run with a Police Constable's daughter Erica, determined to prove his innocence.Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have always been partial to Hitchcock's British films (Murder, Blackmail, 39 Steps, et al) and I consider this one another star in the crown. Granted, it may not be as sophisticated as his later films but few films from the 30's are. It has a certain charm and suspense that will hold your interest.
This film is filled with Hitchcock's cadre of actors that he used again and again in his early films.....and what a group they are! Nova Pilbeam (The Man Who Knew Too Much) was a rather strange looking girl but is perfect for the part of the young woman who helps a stranger; Percy Marmont (Secret Agent) as her father; Mary Clare and Basil Radford (The Lady Vanishes) as the aunt and uncle; John Longden (Blackmail) in his usual role as the detective......all these players are top drawer. Derrick de Marney is rather effete as the man on the run but is very effective in the part.
Several scenes are particularly outstanding. The opening beach shots are beautifully done and the chase is on! You hold your breath in the sinking car scene even though you know that Miss Pilbeam won't be lost so early in the story, unlike Janet Leigh in Psycho. But of course, the long tracking shot in the hotel as it zooms in on the drummer man is the one that most people remember and talk about. It's dynamite.
The rural setting is delightful and Hitchcock seldom used that slice of life in his films (with the exception of The Manxman). That may be what gives the film it's more easy going pace, it's more casual feel. Regardless, Young and Innocent (which is a rather awkward title), holds up after 66 years as just another example of the artistry of the Master. Enjoy it....it's worth it.
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