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(Review originally written at 27 May 2008)

Alfred Hitchcock always had obviously been inspired by the early 1920's Russian way of film-making, especially Sergei Eisenstein's work. This perhaps best shows in this movie, in its style of editing, camera-positioning and crowed sequences. This perhaps makes this movie a bit more outdated than others but it shows how Hitchcock tried out different things and techniques to develop his style and redefine the thriller genre.

It's a movie that definitely would had been a better one had it been made 10 years later, with its more modern film-making techniques. This goes for quite some of the most earliest Hitchcock movies, which also really proofs that Hitchcock was a director who was ahead of his time.

The fact that this is a '30's thriller and directed by Hitchcock of course makes this a more special than average movie. The thriller genre wasn't that well established in the '30's and it was Hitchcock among others that pretty much defined the genre, that really started to take off in the '40's, with its WW II theme based spy thrillers mostly, which also triggered more and more general thriller movies to be made during that particular time period.

The movie does has some trademark Hitchcock suspense moments and twists, which should really especially please the Hitchock fans.

Yet this isn't one of the great Hitchcock movies. It's story is far too weak and simple for that. There basically is very little story and character development, something early Hitchcock movies still often lacked. Also nothing gets really explained in the movie. Here is this situation and here are those characters but why and how just never gets handled.

A good watchable thriller, as long as you're not expecting one of Hitchcock's masterpieces.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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