This early sound film by Alfred Hitchcock (1930) finds him already experimenting with interior monologues and distorted sound effects. The story, of a stage actor (Herbert Marshall) who's determined to prove a young girl innocent of murder, is one of the first, tentative statements of Hitchcock's theme of obsessional love. Hitchcock was still marking out his territory at this point, and the film is heavy and vague around the edges. But it remains a crucial insight into the development of one of the cinema's greatest artists, and so, essential viewing.
By Dave Kehr