Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Ring (1927)

This was the silent film that Hitchcock made directly after making The Lodger. It's a unique film, partly because Hitchcock is credited with the screenplay, and as far as I know it's the only film he directed that he also wrote. It's also unique because it's essentially a working-class love-triangle melodrama, not territory that one associates with Hitchcock. But it's an excellent film, much better than The Lodger. Fast paced, gritty, creatively filmed. The boxing scene at the end is masterful, as good as any that I've seen. I love the presentation of the boxing world, especially the entourage (pictured in the above photo) that move constantly with the hero.

One more thing. I'm by no means an expert on silent film, and have seen relatively few, but for my money this one had some of the best dramatic acting I've seen in a silent, especially from the female lead, Lillian Hall-Davis (seen below). It was a very naturalistic performance in which you could read all her emotions as they flitted across her face. The actress herself had a tragic end, committing suicide at the age of 35 by cutting her own throat. There is some suggestion in her biographies on the web that she killed herself because she didn't make the transfer from silents to talkies.

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