Number Seventeen 1932

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Number Seventeen 1932

Post by garyleeoz on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:35 pm

I finally got to see NUMBER 17, one of Alfred Hitchcock's early British talkies made in 1932. I was impressed with how much he was able to get out of such a low budget ... the first part of the movie featured a spiral staircase in a creaky old house (Number 17) and lots of shadows of the actors cast against one of its walls plus a few secret panels/passageways for good measure. I also liked the finale that featured a runaway train ... if you forgive the obvious overcranked camera effects to suggest high speed (hi-tech for its time).

I didn't recognise anyone in the cast ... Leon M. Lion (the comic relief) gets top billing ... so the movie was probably intended as a "quota quickie" (British movies made on the cheap to take advantage of Government subsidies offered to local productions at that time. They didn't have to be good ... just made in Britain). Despite all that, it was still an enjoyable hour that exceeded my expectations.

The only annoyance for me was the sound quality of some of the dialogue, especially of Leon Lion who played a cockney sailor with a "hard to make out" accent. The rest of the cast and the background music and sound effects were reasonably clear most of the time. I guess they (British filmmakers) were still getting used to recording dialogue, even as late as 1932.

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Re: Number Seventeen 1932

Post by Bruce R on Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:39 am

It's been over 11 years since I viewed Number Seventeen. My notes were not complimentary.

However, it is a very rare early Hitchcock and for that reason alone, enough to view it, IMO.

Since it was 1932 I guess we should give them some grace.

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