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The Lodger (1927) - Alfred Hitchclub


Here we are, week two. This week is the first of 3 films Hitchcock released in 1927, and his first foray into what became the genre he was most known for, the thriller.

To save you the trouble, you can watch it here.



  • I watched the first few minutes of this earlier today and it seems like a much more well rounded and focused film than his debut. It also just seems a lot more atmospherically creepy, which I guess is why a lot of people say it's the first true Hitchcock film.
  • I think he even said that about the film too, according to wikipedia.

    i actually havent finished it myself yet either, watching it right now, but I figured I'd get the post up anyway.
  • Obvious spoiler warning:

    It's great. Thoroughly enjoyable. Calling it a mystery would be a bit of a stretch, considering the actual Avenger is just found without any sleuthing by any known character. The last 20 minutes were excellent though, great pacing and the plot moved quicker than it ever did in the rest of the movie.

    Maybe that's a characteristic of Hitchcock's work? The 2/3 are slow, establishing the character relations ships and setting up the story, but the meat of the plot happens in the last act. The Pleasure Garden did something similar, where the story didn't really kick off until Patsy married whatshisface drunkguy.
  • I think you're allowed to spoil an 89 year old movie.
  • That's a relief, the last thing I want is a 89 year old lynch mob after me.
  • It really is good. I thought it felt more like Hitch's work later in his career. The characters were a lot more identifiable and develop a lot less contrivedly than in The Pleasure Garden. Also, the "twist", really worked for me here more than the plot machinations in Pleasure Garden as well, mostly due to the fact that they further shaded the character of The Lodger.
  • Does the version you watched have vocals in the score? It kind of took me out of it a little bit actually.
  • Yeah it was a bad choice for SURE. The film underneath was well done, but I really wished they didn't do that when they made a score for the film.
  • I dropped my film class that was about to eat up my entire movie-watching schedule so I'll hopefully actually get to these soon
  • I watched Fellowship of the Ring in the same day as this, so this didn't seem long at all.
  • Lol good point.

    My longer form thoughts:

    The Lodger is Hitchcock's first really good film. While The Pleasure Garden showed promise, and his second film was bad by his own admission and lost to us, The Lodger is a thriller through and through. It is Hitch to a T.

    As a remake of the Jack the Ripper legend, the film is based around the concept that its lead character, the Lodger who rents a room from the main family of the film, is the Avenger, who is a man committing murders throughout Britain.

    There are a lot of interesting parts of the film, from the inventive camera angles, especially the shot from under the Lodger's room, which is a great building of tension. The Lodger is more than he seems, though, and the film contains a major Hitchcock trope of the wrongly accused man and the dangers of mob mentality, which is more horrifying than the implication of living with a serial killer [1].

    Also, this is our first look at Hitch's fascination with blondes, sort of putting his own fetishizing into the methodology of the serial killer. Speaking of fetishizing, Hitchcock admitted the handcuffs used in the climax of the film were a riff off of the handcuff fetish that some people have. There is an implication, maybe a Freudian one, by the addition of handcuffs in a film.

    The seeds that Hitchcock sows here grow in fascinating ways later in his filmography. It's also an entertaining thriller and an effective drama on its own.

    Did anyone see Hitchcock in this one?

    [1] The Lodger's entrance is creepy as hell, though, and iconic. His face covered, and the paleness of the silent film make up, really give him a German expressionist creepiness.
  • edited February 2016
    reminder to kyle: watch this
  • Kyle, watch this.
  • Yes, it's good! You need to!
  • Is The Ring going to be after this?
  • Yes, I'm basically just following the order they're listed on Wikipedia, which seems to sort them by the exact date.
  • Just making sure. They moved onto Downhill in Truffaut/Hitchcock. Then The Ring, but I saw imdb had it the other way around. I'm cool with The Ring for next week.
  • Kyle, watched this?
  • The plan is tonight. I sat down to watch it last night and watched Creed instead.
  • Not a bad alternative.
  • If the original didn't exist it'd be the best sports movie ever.
  • I can get on board with that.
  • I'm actually wondering if Creed isn't just a better film overall than Rocky. I'll have to watch the original again to decide

    however i wouldn't put either above Raging Bull personally
  • edited February 2016
    Those would be my top 3 boxing films, with Scorsese's at #1. Rocky and Creed might work better as pure sports movies in that style of feel-good filmmaking, though.

    Which is HILARIOUSLY coincidental to me, since the next Hitchcock movie for this marathon is going to be a boxing film.
  • Can Raging Bull be a boxing film but not a sports film? because that's kind of how I've always looked at it.
  • That's pretty much where I am
  • I forgot but feel free to move on, I'll catch up.
  • I had an assignment due last night so I haven't had time to watch or post it. Will do it very soon.
  • This movie is really terrific I think. There's an eerie tension to it. It feels like a progenitor to the entire thriller genre.

    Also is it just me or are some of the sets reused from The Pleasure Garden? The table in front of the fireplace set is basically identical no?
  • The Avenger's symbol is a triangle = Illuminati confirmed.
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