Downhill (1927) - Alfred Hitchclub

I've been slack, I still haven't watched The Ring and I spent most of today fixing my computer, but this needed to go up two days ago.


We close out 1927 with another drama, this time with an almost comically british setting, a boy's boarding school. Actually reminds me of my teens, but this has less girls and more sex.



  • I swear the male leads have been the same for the last 3 movies.
  • Oh, it was. Except for The Ring.
  • I was pretty sure the female leads were the same too, it seems that only one hairstyle existed in the mid 1920s.
  • There's something about that 1920s style that I find super alluring so I'm cool with it.
  • is there no score for this? I don't know if I can deal with that.
  • Listen to music with it. I did that for The Ring
  • The Rocky soundtrack worked well with it actually
  • I think I may have found a version with a score but I won't know until it finishes downloading.

    Worse case I'll probably just do that.
  • I couldn't seem to find one with a score either. Maybe I'll just put on Dead Poets Society and see how well it syncs up.
  • score confirmed.

    do we have 1.26GB in the assplant?
  • it's in there. Gonna take it out when I get home since it's so big so if you fellas want it grab it.
  • What the hell is assplant
  • I know what that is, but still don't know how that helps me.
  • pm me your email and I'll invite you
  • I watched this with no sound this morning.

    I love all of Hitchcock's innovations and visual metaphors in this riches to rags (back to riches...) story about an hono(u)rable young man who won't rat on his friend for fooling around. After he gets kicked out of his boarding school, he leaves home and begins to live a life that continuously goes downhill. Hitchcock uses escalators and elevators, always going down, that worked really well for me as storytelling techniques. I love the protagonist's fever dream episodes late, using dissolves and double exposure and German Expressionist lighting and camera focus to all put us into his mind set.

    But that ending... This would have been my favorite of Hitchcock's silents (other than maybe The Lodger) that I've seen so far if not for the convenience of the ending, which feels like every other tacked on happy ending I've ever seen. I didn't need this to stay tragic, but I wanted to BELIEVE in this film. In the end, I didn't.
  • Going to start watching this right now, but I'll put the post up for The Farmer's Wife tonight.
  • I doubt the soundtrack in Kyle's version is accurate, it feels too modern, aside from it being a very clean recording. Still, nice to have something to go along with it.
  • My understanding with silent film is that there's really no such thing. Most scores were improvised by the house band at each theater.
  • I always assumed their was sheet music provided with the reels, but I don't really have any idea.
  • So far this might be my second favourite of the ones we've watched, behind The Lodger.
  • I think I'm with @Dallas on this one, Roddy is a very likable character (I'm tempted to seek out a few more of Ivor Novello's films) and up until the last 10 minutes its an incredibly well directed cautionary tale about trust and the pitfalls of being honourable to those who won't reciprocate. I would have liked to see a resolution between Roddy, his friend and the waitress, but overall it was a good watch.
  • Totally. I wanted more of that dynamic for sure.
  • hey TJ do you know anything about how silent film scores work? I'm assuming you know a lot more about the subject than I do.
  • Some people did compose music (Chaplon did his own music) but many times the accompanist would improv over the films. Sometimes composers would write pieces to accompany films for bigger theaters, but most couldn't afford a full orchestra. They would just likely have a pianist at smaller theaters.
  • gonna finally get to this soon. Couldn't deal with no score and it's been a busy week. This is my catchup weekend for sure.
  • So Ivor Novello was in his mid 30s when this was filmed but he's playing a teen. I suppose if the staff members of the school are infinity nobody will notice.
  • edited March 2016
    It's weird... the end of the film, after supposedly years of being out in the seedy real world, he SPOILER

    RETURNS to school. Is he a super super super senior?
  • And by that stage, the dude has seen some shit.
Sign In or Register to comment.