30 Minutes Of A Lost Hitchcock Silent Film Discovered

It’s odd to think that a cavalcade of releases from iconic master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock are lost to history.   Involved in 17 silent-era efforts, the director may be better known for his talkies, but these silent projects are the films that have become the topic of conversation thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation.

According to the LA Times, the NFPF has revealed that roughly thirty-minutes, three reels in total, have been uncovered from a film entitled The White Shadow.   Penned by Hitchcock, the 1923 film features Hitchcock aboard as an assistant director, an editor, and even as a production designer.

Starring Betty Compson and Clive Brook, the film is considered by many historians to be Hitchcock’s first major film.   Sitting comfortably in the New Zealand Film Archive for damn near two decades, the NFPF was able to gain access to the American films within the archive, which happened to include this film, as well as the much talked about John Ford silent picture, Upstream.

Premiering at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on September 22nd, one can only hope that this will get some sort of major DVD/Blu-ray release.   Maybe in a large box set with the other major films discovered in these vaults? I’d definitely shell out good money for a great release like that.   Or as a feature on a Criterion release of another silent-era Hitchcock film? Likely not a huge chance of that happening, but then again, who knows?   Criterion or not, this is genuinely exciting news, so here’s to hoping we the public get a chance to view this film.

What do you think?

Source LA Times

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2 Comments

  • Caught “The Lodger” on TCM during the early 2000s and really enjoyed it (still have it somewhere, recorded to VHS). Glad to hear there’s more of his early stuff being uncovered!

  • The Lodger is great.  Actually, there are a few silent Hitchcock films in a special 20 film box set that you can find at your local Wal-Mart/Barnes And Noble, etc. for right around 5$.  The films aren’t of the best quality, but they include The 39 Steps, and a lot of really great silents.  Definitely a must own for fans.  Probably the best bang for your buck around.

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