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August 3, 2011 5:26 AM   Subscribe

Lost Hitchcock film partially recovered. Starring Betty Compson as twins, three reels of The White Shadow have been discovered; Hitchcock was credited as the writer, but is considered by some to have been the co-director. It becomes the oldest extant Hitchcock film, and is part of a partially-explored cache of nitrate film help by the New Zealand Film Archives.
posted by rodgerd (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh. I wouldn't have thought high school basketball would be ol' Hitch's type of thing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:58 AM on August 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Marvellous news!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:15 AM on August 3, 2011


Cool, I love this stuff. Saw the re-restored Metropolis last year and it was a great feeling seeing something that hadn't been seen in 80 years. I doubt that this Hitchcock movie is anywhere as significant as Metropolis but it would be interesting to see him at the start of his career.
posted by octothorpe at 6:52 AM on August 3, 2011


Seriously, though, I haven't seen any of his silent films. I should get on that.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:06 AM on August 3, 2011


This is fantastic. The White Shadow is, according to Truffaut's book, Hitchcock's fourth film (if you include Number Thirteen, which was never completed). He didn't direct any of these, but he did considerably more than what he'd been doing on film sets for Paramount's Famous Players, which was mostly illustrating title cards. Here's the pertinent bit from that book:
Truffaut: [Speaking of Woman to Woman] Graham Cutts directed that picture. You did the adaptation and the dialogue, and were assistant director as well?

Hitchcock: More than that! My friend, the art director, was unable to work on that picture. I volunteered to serve as art director. So I did all of this and also helped on the production. My future wife, Alma Reville, was the editor of the picture as well as the script girl. In those days the script girl and the editor were one and the same person. Today the script girl keeps too many books, as you know. She's a real bookkeeper. It was while working on that picture that I first met my wife.

Then I performed these various functions for several other films. The second was The White Shadow, the third was The Passionate Adventure, and the fourth was The Blackguard. And then there was The Prude's Fall.

Truffaut: As you recall them now, would you say all of those pictures were about the same, or do you have a preference?

Hitchcock: Woman to Woman was the best of the lot and the most successful. When we made The Prude's Fall, the last one of this series, the director took his lady friend along on location. We went to Venice. It was really quite expensive. The director's girl friend apparently didn't approve of any of the locations, so we came back to the studio without shooting a single scene. When the picture was finished, the director told the producer he didn't want me anymore. I've always suspected that someone on that unit had been 'political.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:15 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mister Moofoo: "Seriously, though, I haven't seen any of his silent films. I should get on that."

Looks like Manxman and Easy Virtue are both available on netflix streaming.
posted by octothorpe at 7:26 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Lodger is fantastic and definitely one of the more Hitchcock-y of his silent films.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:39 AM on August 3, 2011


Very cool! Here's a Los Angeles Times article about the discovery with photos; and it looks like the film will be "re-premiered" here in LA!
posted by estherbester at 9:11 AM on August 3, 2011


part of a partially-explored cache of nitrate film held by the New Zealand Film Archives

Oh man, I love hearing that potential treasure troves like this still exist. Maybe I'll get to see London After Midnight before I die after all...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:47 AM on August 3, 2011


New Zealand?

Hmmm.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:15 AM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Perhaps "Salami" [Timothy van Patten] will direct the sequel.
posted by wensink at 11:56 AM on August 3, 2011


I have The Lodger! I bought one of those cheapo DVD boxes for like five bucks, that's like 20 Hitchcock titles (including a few Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes), but it languishes with a few other things I haven't watched yet.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:02 PM on August 3, 2011


Forgotten silver, indeed...
posted by Huck500 at 5:36 PM on August 3, 2011


God dammit, Indigo Jones...
posted by Huck500 at 5:36 PM on August 3, 2011


Sorry, man. Some one had to do it.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:22 PM on August 4, 2011


heh, Forgotten Silver was my first thought when I saw this post too.

I also have the Lodger and can heartily recommend it.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:15 PM on August 4, 2011


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