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

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Movie Review

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The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Movie Review

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is a 1927 silent thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ivor Novello and June Tripp. It is such a good early Hitchcock movie.

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When I’ve put a rope round the Avenger’s neck,

I’ll put a ring around Daisy’s finger

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The film is about the hunt for a killer in London who targets young blonde women. The story is really good here with one reservation. The main issue I’ve had with the film is that its ending is too happy. It is just too joyous and too much of a happy ending to an otherwise bleak movie. I wasn’t such a big fan of it. But the plot is otherwise excellent and the film benefits from some really good storytelling and a tight script. I loved the use of flashback structure near the end in that really moving, incredibly well executed sequence. The film also starts well as it starts with a murder, thus instantly making you invested in it. And I really liked its natural and slow, yet rewarding plot progression.

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The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Movie Review

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The character development is pretty strong in The Lodger with again one major problem and that is the main character. I’ve had a big problem with the protagonist as he is such a weird and problematic character. The filmmakers never really knew what to do with him not only in terms of his sexuality, but also in terms of his personality as well. His entire character changes in the second half and while I understand that it is done for the purposes of its screenplay, I still found it to be contrived. And that’s a shame as he is definitely not a non-entity and he gets a lot of development and a great backstory. I found the landlady to be very charming and Daisy is also such an endearing person. But Joe got on my nerves as he was supposed to.

The acting is good, but never great. Ivor Novello is perfect for this role in terms of the looks, but his performance is unfortunately not as good. He is too theatrical, even for silent films. June Tripp is more enjoyable and Marie Ault also did a solid job in her role.

In terms of directing, Hitchcock did a great job in his first thriller film. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is even ahead of its time in some areas, mainly the technical aspects and the full thriller approach to it. I absolutely loved some of the technicalities here. The way he shows us the lodger’s walk is so unique and visually arresting, but the flashback is also wonderfully achieved and the entire film is just so technically marvelous to behold. The cinematography is astonishing and the use of fog is wonderful for its atmosphere and it was essential given that it is in the title itself.

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The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Movie Review

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The film is pretty atmospheric at times, but always intriguing and entertaining to watch. It is never as great as his classics, but this is such a good first film for the director and it established his trademark style successfully. The tone is satisfyingly mature and serious and the film succeeds as a thriller as it has thrills in spades. The dialogue is also really good and the script is phenomenal. As for those hints at homosexuality, I found them to be offensive, but I forgive them for that as it was the twenties. The film is heartwarming in tone in its third act and I liked that, even though I found the actual ending to be too happy as I stated before. It benefits from some great set design, excellent pacing and it is the kind of a film that I will remember as it is so memorable not only in terms of its visuals and style, but also in terms of its plot and characters as well. It is flawed, but it is still such a good, interesting experience.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog has its problems including the problematic title character and a too happy ending, but this is still such a good early Hitchcock film that benefits from an absolutely superb visual style to it with great cinematography and some inventive shots while also having such a great script, excellent dialogue, solid characters, a great atmosphere and many memorable sequences.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 1927, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Silent, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , .

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