Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Juno and the Paycock (1930)

Hitchcock's first "talkie" straight to finish, meaning he started it as a talkie and finished it as a talkie, unlike his previous film Blackmail. For that one he was told to convert it from silent to talkie halfway through. So not only is Juno and the Paycock a sound motion picture but it's almost all dialogue. Essentially, it's a filmed stage production of a very talky play by Sean O'Casey. Not only that but it was low-budget and the sound production is pretty substandard. Add to that some very thick Irish accents employed by the stage actors who were hired for this and this is a film that is close to incomprehensible to a contemporary film-goer.

All that said, while this is a film only for the most devoted completist, it's really not a bad movie at all. In fact, it's well put-together, and while the acting is definitely stage acting, it's done well, and Sara Allgood (in the picture), who plays the Juno of the title, is heartbreaking at the end as a mother who loses almost everything.

1 comment:

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