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Saturday, 5th July 2008
Good evening

H itchcock casts as pretty big shadow over the movie world.

There will never be another Hitch, it must be as simple as that. Born in 1899 he died in 1980.

He made a lot of good stuff and he made some real clunkers. In this century year of his birth there are going to be a good many words wound out about the fellow and we are going to know more about him than we needed to, or ever suspected there was too know.

You can assume from this I am not going to be adding to any great degree this mountain of words.

What I will be doing is using his films of the 1920's as a structure for a page about some of the film stars that actually appeared in those films. This is at the stage of Hitchcock's career where Time Magazine's comment Nov 1938 isn't quite as true as it was when they reviewed 'The Lady Vanishes' 'The ingredients of Hitchcock pictures rarely vary much. They include a beautiful English girl, a somewhat bewildered hero, several international spies, a code and a journey, preferably by train. '

can almost hear the clunking

Let us begin at the beginning, or at least the Director's first feature which is almost the same thing. Before this time he had been producing silent film title cards and worked as an art director, scriptwriter, and assistant director. I am discounting, Number 13 [1922] as it was not finished and also Always Tell your wife [1923] because he was uncredited.

Where possible I have given the card references for the actors involved. I have to make the page related to cards afterall. If the actor/actress does not have a card credit after their name it does not mean such a card does not exist, just I have not recorded it yet. Although I have a database of over 11,000 film star related cards this does not represent a complete listing and work still continues on this one.


1925, The Pleasure Garden, the film was shot in Munich. Everyone has to start somewhere and because of this the film is remembered. There could be no other reason for it to be so. A silent film grinding on for 75 minutes. The fact it was made in Munich, wasn't very good as it means UK cigarette cards were not all that eager to show pictures of those involved. However two of them did get their faces on the cards.

Details from Card
John Stuart
John Stuart's first screen appearance was in the title role of "Her Son" in 1920, a part he obtained by a chance meeting with the producer at a party. Since then he has steadily increased in popularity and won bigger roles, until he has become one of the most famous young British players. Born in Edinburgh in 1899, at the age of ten he came to London where he was educated. During the war he served in the Black Watch and Seaforths, and upon demobilization turned to the stage, making he debut in ;The Trojan Women'. He afterwards turned to screen work, his films including 'London Love' 'Mademoiselle from Armentieres' and 'The Flight Commander.'
Wills Cinema Stars (1928)

Cast:

Nita Naldi [no card no comment]

Miles Mander gets a mention on Ardath Scenes from big films 64. Basil Rathbone Miles Mander and Heather Thatcher in Loyalties

John Stuart Wills Cinema Stars (1928)1st

Carmelita Geraghty [no card no comment]

GH Schnell [no card no comment]

Florence Helminger [no card no comment]

C. Falkenburg [no card no comment]

Ferdinand Martini [no card no comment]

Of the cast perhaps the most successful of the bunch was Miles Mander who was still making credible movie appearances in 1944 in Sherlock Holmes adaptation with Basil Rathbone. Included in the text box is the reverse of the John Stuart card, notice not a lot of mention about this particular film but fun to note he was born the same year as Hitch, according to the card. His actual birth being 18 July 1898 but you know what these movie folk are like. His career continued until 1978 when he appeared as 10th Elder in Superman: The Movie. His death shortly after in 1979 prevented any more television appearances.


Next up, again 1926, is something of a turning point. It is the masters first suspense thriller, 'In truth you might almost say that The Lodger was my first picture' Hitchcock.

Details from Card
June
This famous star is a talented actress, vocalist and dancer, and began her stage career at the age of nine. At thirteen she was in the ballet 'Snowflake' with Anna Pavlova played in Shakespeare with Clive Currie's Young Players; later she appeared in the Folies Bergere in Paris and toured in variety in 1918. She starred in 'Mercenary Mary' in 1925 and 'Happy-Go-Lucky' in 1926. After 'Clowns in Clover' in 1927 she went to America in 1929, retired from the stage. She re-appeared recently in 'Fanfare.'
Gallaher Champions of Screen & Stage (red back) (1934)

The film is based on a book which is based on the Ripper story. Hitchcock does not have the clout to avoid the studio dictated ending at this stage of his career. Such is life.

Cast:

Marie Ault [no card no comment]

Ivor Novello (playing the lodger) Rothmans Cinema Stars (1925) L25

Malcolm Keen [no card no comment]

June Gallaher Champions of Screen & Stage (red back) (1934)

Arthur Chesney [no card no comment]

Ivor Novello

This is also the film in which Hitch makes his first cameo appearance. It all came about because he was short of an actor and not wanting to spend more money than necessary decided he would sit in and later stand in. From this point on Hitchcock always made a cameo appearance in his movies although in some you had to look pretty closely. In the end though he tried to appear as early as possible so the audience stopped looking for him and got on with watching the film. The film also includes June which must be belong to a very select bunch of actors known by a single name. Lassie, Flipper, Benji are the only other sorts I can think about but they are not human and not one syllable either.


The Mountain Eagle Shop-keeper falls in love with school-teacher. School teacher is not keen on the attentions which angers the shop-keeper greatly and accuses her of molesting his mentally ill son. The girl marries a hermit, Fear O'God Fulton to appease the angry townsfolk. Gradually she falls in love with him, and a child is born. Nothing is simple though and the shop-keeper hides his son away and accuses the hermit of killing him. The hermit is imprisoned but escapes and he and his family head for the hills.

Bernhard Goetzke [no card no comment]

John F. Hamilton [no card no comment]

Malcolm Keen [no card no comment]

Nita Naldi [no card no comment]

Not a lot to say about this film from a cigarette card point of view as I cannot find a reference to any of them on a cigarette card at this particular moment. Trust me I have looked.


Details from Card
Ivor Novello
Who would recognize this raddled roue as the handsome and eternally youthful-looking Ivor Novello? This is a superb example of the kind of make-up in which the actors chief object is disguise. Nothing of Ivor Novello is left in Lord George, except the lively dark eyes, set so far apart. The shape of the nose and mouth the angle of the eyebrows, the colour of the complexion, all are fchanged in order to obliterate the actor's identity.
Ogdens Actors Natural and Character Studies (1938)

Still Hitchcock was in a hurry and a goodly number of films came out in 1927.

Next comes Downhill. Silent and by the numbers. Charts a chaps decline.

Lillian Braithwaite Godfrey Phillips Stars of British Films (1934)

Robin Irvine [no card no comment]

Ian Hunter DeBeukelaer Film Stars KF900 1932

Isabel Jeans Godfrey Phillips Stars of British Films (1934)

Ivoor Novello: Wills, Cinema Stars

Ben Webster [no card no comment]

Ivor Novello Ogdens Actors Natural and Character Studies (1938)

Sybil Rhoda [no card no comment]

Well things are getting better the film actually gets a mention on the Wills card (although not the later Ogdens card as can be seen) and a number of the actors actually made it big enough to appear on cigarette cards, always a good sign.

Just to add even more things you never wanted to know about Ivor Novello, he was still writing musicals in the 1951 (Gay's the Word) in which he appeared as the romantic lead, something he did quite frequently, creepy. He died the same year (David Ivor Davies 1893-1951)

Only fitting that Ivor should appear as it was he that wrote the play this film is based. The scene in the play where he washed his legs sent the women in the crowd into nervous excitement and perhaps a good many of the chaps for different reasons.


Easy Virtue [1927] you can almost hear the clunking of the movie from the very title. Hitchcock accepted this was probably the worst title a film of his laboured under. It charts the struggle a married woman has after a divorce from an unpleasant husband. It is an adaptation of Noel Coward play and more than once these have proved troublesome.

Darcia Deane [no card no comment]

Ian Hunter Gallaher Famous Film Scenes (1935)

Robin Irvine [no card no comment]

Isabel Jeans Godfrey Phillips Stars of British Films (1934)

Dorothy Boyd Rothmans Prominent Screen Favourites (1934) 25 unnum

Eric Bransby Williams [no card no comment]

Benita Hume Gallaher Stars of Screen & Stage (Green back) (1935)

Enid Stamp Godfrey Phillips Stage & Cinema Beauties (1933)

Frank Elliot [no card no comment]

Franklin Dyall [no card no comment]

Violet Farebrother [no card no comment]

Isabel Jeans again look, mind you Ian Hunter too. Well it was the 1920's and it was the UK how many actors do you think we had?


The Ring [1927]

Two boxers fight over the love of one woman. One round Jack has fallen in loveand is engaged to Nelly he makes his living fighting in bazaars. That is all fine and dandy until the Australian boxing champ Bob Corby also falls for the same woman and challenges One round Jack.

Carl Brisson Bridgewater series 3 [1934]

Lillian Hall-Davis [no card no comment]

Gordon Harker Gallaher Film Episodes [1936]

Tom Helmore [no card no comment]

Ian Hunter Gallaher Famous Film Scenes [1935]

Forrester Harvey [no card no comment]

Harry Terry [no card no comment]

Billy Wells Cohen & Weenan, Famous Boxers [1912]

Yep that Billy Wells is also known as Bombadier Billy Wells and he was the genuine article, or at least he was well-known for getting in the ring and giving and taking a beating.


Champagne [1928]

Good grief. All I can say is it is darn lucky Hitchcock kept churning the films out because if he had stopped at this point I would not be writing this page now. Hitchcock accepted this was a below par effort. The story line came from a studio rival, Walter Mycroft and having to contend with a star being very 'Hollywood'. Its all about a rich father who pretends to be poor to teach his daughter a lesson. Luckily Hitchcock made it a bit better than it sounds but you would expect him to really.

Claude Hulbert Bridgewater series 3 1934

Balliol & Merton [no card no comment]

Jack Trevor DeBeukelaer Film Stars KF900 1932

Gordon Harker Gallaher Shots from Famous Films (1935)

Betty Balfour Gallaher Shots from Famous Films (1935)

Gordon Harker Gallaher Shots from Famous Films (1935) marvellously getting a mention on the same card as Betty above.

Marcel Vibert [no card no comment]

Ferdinand Von Alton [no card no comment]

Theodore Von Alten [no card no comment]

Sunday Wilshin [no card no comment]

Clifford Heatherley Wills Cinema Stars (1931) 3rd

Jean Bradin [no card no comment]

Apart from the fact I would like to be called Sunday Wilshin from this moment on (I mean, if ever I get Wilshin, Sunday is the day for me. Test it out as an adjective and see what people think you were doing.) there is not a lot more to say about the film. The coincidence of Betty Balfour and Gordon Harker appearing on a card together some 7 years later is quite charming.


The Manx Man [1929]

Well what do you know two lifelong friends have grown up together on the Isle of Man. One grew up to be a fisherman the other a lawyer. Pete (the fisging one) is attracted to the local innkeppers daughter. The problem this is 1929 and the innkeeper seems to think the fisherman is no catch for his daughter.

True love never running smooth Pete decides to seek his fortune elsewhere and entrusts Kate (the landlords daughter) to his best mate, Phillip.

Well perhaps nobody knew what would happen in 1929 but fed on an endless diet of poor plots in the late 1990's we all know what happens next. Phillip and Kate grow closer together.

They skulk about a fair bit with this knowledge but then good fortune when news comes through that Phillips boat was sunk and he has died.

Again we all know better now, and Pete is of course not dead.

Anny Ondra Bridgewater 1st [1932]

Carl Brisson Gallaher Champions of Screen & Stage (red back) [1934]

Malcolm Keen [no card no comment]

Randle Ayrton [no card no comment]

Clare Greet [no card no comment], sometimes she was credited as Claire Greet.

Kim Peacock [no card no comment]

Nellie Richards [no card no comment]

Harry Terry [no card no comment]


Blackmail [1929]

This is more like it. As the decade draws to a close Hitchcock produces something with a plot you can get into. Set in London in the 1920's Alice is the daughter of a shop-keeper. She has the misfortune of having a boyfriend in the police force and true to form he seems to be more intereste in detective work than girlfriends (although British audiences will be more used to this police approach than US counterparts who seem to have more time for women than our lot.)

Still Frank plans to take her out one night but unfortunately Alice has plans to go out with another man. This other man is an artist and later that evening Alice agrees to go back to his place to see his studio. I kid you not. Back she goes and rather than having an artistic temperament the fellow turns out to be a crazed rapist.

Alice being a willful girl stabs him to death in a moment of self-defense.

Amazingly Frank is the fellow assigned to the murder case...

This was Hitchcocks first sound movie and Anny Ondra was dubbed by Joan Barry Sarony Cinema Stars [(1933] who appears on more cards than most of the others put together from this film.

Anny Ondra Ardath Famous Film Stars [1934]

Sara Allgood [no card no comment]

Charles Paton [no card no comment]

John Longden [no card no comment]

Donald Calthrop Ardath British Born Film Stars (1934)

Cyril Ritchard [no card no comment]

Hannah Jones [no card no comment]

Harvey Braban [no card no comment]

Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop (something of a one movie wonder as far as I know) [no card no further comment]

John Longdon will later appear in Quatermass II [1957] now that really is a film worth the watching time, even if a little creaky by now.


So there you have it, Hitchcock early output. Many of you will remember there was also work done in later decades and you never know I might even put together another page or two on the subject.