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United Kingdom 1929
Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock
83 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Manxman

Alfred Hitchcock's final silent film will be principally of interest to completists but it is a surprisingly strong film thanks largely to its gutsy story (which according to the opening credits is a famous one) by Sir Hall Caine which is well-served by the director's economical telling of it.

Two boyhood friends on the Isle of Man have grown up. One, Phillip (Malcolm Keen), has become a lawyer, the other, Pete (Carl Brisson), a fisherman  Both are in love with same girl, Kate (Anny Ondra). When Pete goes off to make his fortune and win her hand, Phillip and Kate let their passions get the better of them with tragic results.

Although technically dated on all levels Hitchcock keeps the film moving at a fair lick so these shortcoming do not overly impinge. His mise-en-scène reinforces the strengths of the story very effectively giving the film visual efficacy whilst also making use of typically clever devices such as entries in a diary to mark the passage of time. Anny Ondra, a German actress, is surprisingly modern-looking and went on to star (with her lines dubbed) in Hitchcock's next film, Blackmail, which was also released in 1929.




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