The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

DailyView: Day 250, Movie 350

Another first tonight in the DailyView as the week of Alfred Hitchcock continued. This was the first feature length silent film in the DailyView. Yes, I have done silent shorts featuring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but this was an hour and a half silent picture, not a 20 + minute short, and it was a new way to watch a film for me.

The Lodger told the story of a Jack the Ripper-like killer terrorizing London, killing another blonde, curly haired woman each Tuesday. Seven victims had the city scared for what was happening.

A stranger named Jonathan Drew (Ivor Novello) arrived at the Bunting lodge where Mr. Bunting (Arthur Chesney) and Mrs. Bunting (Marie Ault) live with their daughter Daisy (June Tripp). Drew looked to be very suspicious and would head out of the lodge on Tuesday nights.

Daisy’s boyfriend Joe Chandler (Malcolm Keen) was a police officer who was given the case of the Avenger, the serial killer tormenting London, killing blonde haired women and leaving a piece of paper with a triangle and the word “Avenger” on it. The newspapers jumped on the sensationalism of the stories, spreading the word of the killer.

Meanwhile, Drew and Daisy started to connect, Despite her feelings for Joe, Daisy seemed to be falling for the charms of Drew.

The music of the film was great, as it had to be. The silent movies were not actually silent. They just did not have talking from the actors or other sound effects. It did have music which helped to create the tone and the mood of the film.

Hitchcock told an interesting story, including an unexpected twist of the story. In fact, as I was watching the ending, I still felt there was more beneath the surface than what we got. Maybe I was just looking into it too much, but I do think it is there.

I really had to focus on the film because the storytelling was not just in the screens of dialogue printed on the screen. You had to watch closely because they did not write every word said. The storytelling came through images and facial expressions.

I certainly would not want to watch a lot of silent films, but this one was pretty good and it was a great example of Hitchcock’s skills. It looked like there was a remake of this movie in 1944, which I may visit before the end of the DailyView.

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