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The Lodger [1926]

Director:Alfred Hitchcock
Writer:Alfred Hitchcock
Composer:Ashley Irwin
Length:80 minutes
(1 hour 20 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Crime
IMDB Rating:7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:92%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London.

Reaction: The ending is a bit weak, but the first half hour is interesting with Hitchcock experimenting in how to set up the situation and characters.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Alfred Hitchcock => Director / Writer / Extra in Newspaper Office (uncredited)
Ashley Irwin => Composer
Marie Belloc Lowndes => Novel and Play
Alma Reville => Woman Listening to Wireless (uncredited)
Arthur Chesney => Her Husband
Eve Gray => Showgirl Victim (uncredited)
Ivor Novello => The Lodger
June => Daisy - Their Daughter
Malcolm Keen => Joe - a Police Detective
Marie Ault => The Landlady
Reginald Gardiner => Dancer at Ball (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Alfred Hitchcock wanted an ambiguous ending to the film, but the studio wouldn't allow it to be implied that the lodger might actually be the murderer.
  • The movie is based on the book of the same name. It was the first book to offer a solution to the [?] Jack The Ripper killings. The book is supposedly based on an anecdote told to the painter [?] Walter Sickert by the landlady when renting a room; she said that the previous tenant had been Jack the Ripper.
  • Director Cameo: Alfred Hitchcock a desk in the newsroom early in the film. Some people claim he also appears later in the crowd lynch scene.
  • Hitchcock told François Truffaut that, though he had made two films prior to this, he considered this his first true film. This is the earliest film directed by Alfred Hitchcock that survives today in its entirety.
  • Debut of Reginald Gardiner.
  • For the opening scene, where the Avenger's murder victim faces the camera and screams, Alfred Hitchcock filmed the scene by having the actress lie down on a large sheet of glass, with her golden hair spread out around her head. He then lit the actress from underneath the sheet of glass, and filmed her with a camera mounted on its side, with the lens pointed at a downward angle. This gave the appearance that the actress's hair (with its golden curls, so important to the murderer) was ringed in a halo of light.
  • For the opening of the film, Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show the Avenger's murder victim being dragged out of the Thames River at night with the Charing Cross Bridge in the background. But Scotland Yard refused his request to film at the bridge. Hitchcock repeated his request several times, until Scotland Yard notified him that they would "look the other way" if he could do the filming in one night. Hitchcock quickly sent his cameras and actors out to Charing Cross Bridge to film the scene. But when the rushes came back from the developers, the scene at the bridge was nowhere to be found. Hitchcock and his assistants searched through the prints, but could not find it. Finally, Hitchcock discovered that his cameraman had forgotten to put the lens on the camera before filming the night scene.
  • Ivor Novello reprised his role in the 1932 sound remake of The Phantom Fiend, directed by Maurice Elvey. Hitchcock was asked to serve as director for the remake, but declined. The 1932 film was released in the United States as "The Phantom Fiend."
  • This is the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in which he makes one of his trademark cameo appearances. The cameo as an extra came by accident when he didn't have enough people for extras in a scene, he decided to help by appearing in the scene himself. As a result, he decided to turn his appearance into one of his trademarks with him performing silent walk-on bits in most of his later films appearing as uncredited extras.