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

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1

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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 4,392

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Movie Info

While the silent The Lodger was not director Alfred Hitchcock's first film, it was the first to truly deserve the designation "A Hitchcock Picture". British matinee idol Ivor Novello plays Jonathan Drew, a quiet, secretive young man who rents a room in a London boarding house. Drew's arrival coincides with the reign of Terror orchestrated by Jack the Ripper. As the film progresses, circumstantial evidence begins to mount, pointing to Drew as the selfsame Ripper. In addition to Novello's 1932

Apr 2, 1994

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (1) | DVD (2)

The picture has a very, very excellent begining, a mediocre middle and a most deplorable ending. A minor fault is that its running time is about fifteen minutes too long.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hitch's most overtly Hitchcockian silent film ...

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not a great film, but a remarkable one, with Hitchcock at his most 'innovative.'

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the story has been remade many times, Hitchcock's silent version (his third work) holds up well, bearing the director's distinctive vision; he said his career relly began with that picture

November 10, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A truly creepy cast adds to the suspense.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Even with its obvious debt to German Expressionism, The Lodger has Hitchcock hallmarks. It's the master's first film to suggest a certain kind of fun and games as well as thrills.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

This restoration of Hitchcock's 1926 silent melodrama offers a gripping prehistory not just of his own work, but the Hollywood thriller itself.

August 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

One for Hitch fans, one for thriller fans, one for cinema fans. Do not miss.

August 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Sawhney's score brings contemporary melodies to Hitch's silent delight.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Make allowances for Ivor Novello's hammy acting as the mysterious lodger wrongly accused of the killings, and relish instead Hitch's intuitive grasp of visual storytelling.

July 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Brilliant visual touches.

August 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Beauty protected and destroyed, shot fittingly with a Germanic eye

May 10, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

See it and see the birth of one of film's greatest directors.

April 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Hitchcock's third film is his first suspense movie, and thus the first real "Hitchcock" movie.

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Quite effective early Hitchcock thriller.

December 24, 2005
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Superb silent thriller

August 10, 2004
Film Journal International

The first film that truly showed what Hitchcock was capable of creating.

December 26, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

the tightly constructed 83-minute thriller is a damned fine piece of filmmaking

January 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Now we're cookin'. This is very early Hitchock, like I think one of his first five films. But even though it wasn't his very first, it was the first he really considered his own, and it set the standard for the bulk of his career over the course of the next several decades, by introducing a lot of Hitch hallmarks including his cameo, the "wrong man" theme, visual innovations and stylishness, etc.

The story concerns a woman who fears that the latest tenant to take up residence at her boarding house is a Jack the Ripper style murderer known as The Avenger whose been on a recent murder spree across London. Looking back, the story is nothing new or revelatory, and it may not have even been so then, but it's a good yarn, and lots of fun.

The film's got a great sense of mood, tone, and atmosphere, complete with lots of fog and some really fitting music. There's some excellent cinematography here, with some neat angles and great lighting. There's some really good art direction as well. The performances are pretty decent, and get the job done, though I don't think they're really brilliant or anything.

Overall, this is definitely a must see for Hitchcock fans and general cinema lovers alike. It hasn't really aged that great, but it's still a good piece of work.
December 22, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I'm starting to think that Hitchcock was better suited for a career of silent films. With no dialogue spoken, Hitch weaves an intricate tale of murder, mass hysteria, jealousy, and the fear that grips the soul that turns man against man. Without the aid of future technology, Hitchcock finds fascinating ways to play with the audience. Whether it be having Ivor Novello walk on a piece of glass, giving the illusion that we are watching him walk on the ceiling above, or really emphasizing every time the lodger picks up a potentially lethal device, a trick used over and over again throughout the ages, this film is very well done. On top of this, Mr. Novello gives quite an unforgettable performance. Brooding, menacing, but with a sweetness underneath it all. It is a fine line, but he walks it masterfully.
While not one that you are sure to watch over and over again, it would be a great pick for a friend who gets turned off by "silent pictures." It moves at the pace of its contemporaries and is far better than what passes for most "thrillers" nowadays.
December 5, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

ivor novello was a bit hammy but he compensated by turning up later as a character in gosford park :) seriously, the film owes ALOT to the german expressionists and the plot is rather predictable but it is fascinating to see the genesis of hitch's beloved 'wrong man' theme. some creative visual touches too
March 26, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Alfred Hitchcock considered this film his first movie, ignoring his two previous attempts at direction as he considered them not very well made. The Lodger would represent his true introduction to the film world and the genre that he would define for close to fifty years.



London is in a state of panic as a murderer is killing golden, curly haired women. There is constant agitation and an introduction to the now famed concept of media hysteria. Extra! Extra! Daisy (June) is one of those golden haired females roaming around London. She lives with her parents (Marie Ault and Arthur Chesney) who rent out a room to would be lodgers that are canvassing London. One such lodger (Ivor Novello) moves into the room, acting oddly much to the suspicion of Daisy's would be boy friend Joe (Malcolm Keen), who happens to be the detective investigating the murder case.


Being a silent film, The Lodger uses faces to convey more of the plot than dialogue. This was typical before talkies. What Hitchcock does with The Lodger goes beyond what was typical for films in the later 1920's. He creates an atmosphere that is almost a character itself. Light and shadow dictate what's playing out on screen. He opens the film with the flash of a marquee sign (though we don't know that) saying "To-nite: Golden Curls" almost like an omen on what the killer has a blood lust for.



The Lodger is the first of a long line of masterpieces created by Alfred Hitchcock. This is really where it all began on the silent studios of London, developing into a career rivaled by only a few others. The formula is here in its infant form and even though generations would pass in his career, Hitchcock continued to deliver with the concept over and over again. A silent era gem.
July 11, 2010
sononothing

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Lodger (1927) (DE)
  • The Lodger (UK)
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