Wednesday, August 03, 2011

An early Hitchcock discovery

Alfred Hitchcock's career as a film director started in 1925. Before that he had gathered significant experience as an assistant director for Graham Cutts at the Balcon, Freedman and Saville company. Now half of one of those films, White Shadow (1923), has been discovered in New Zealand, as reported by Los Angeles Times.

One film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The Mountain Eagle / Der Bergadler (GB/DE 1926), shot in Geiselgasteig in Bavaria for Gainsborough Pictures and Emelka, is still lost.

The early Hitchcock story is equally remarkable for another giant of the cinema: the quality producer Michael Balcon, who got started on his career with Hitchcock.

P.S. 4 Aug 2011. Luke McKernan in his The Bioscope blog comments rightly that we should really be talking about "a Graham Cutts discovery": "Graham Cutts (1885-1958) was arguably the leading British film director of the 1920s. Working with Herbert Wilcox and then Michael Balcon, two of Britain’s top producers of the period, Cutts made stylish romantic dramas characterised by fluid narrative, sumptuous production (on slim budgets) and subtly emotional performances. It could be argued that he was the first British film director to think cinematically."

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