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Number Seventeen (Number 17)

Number Seventeen (Number 17) (1932)

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

audience

23

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 1,591

My Rating

Movie Info

This early Hitchcock effort is a parody of the thriller genre about a transient (Leon M. Lion) who accidentally discovers the hideout of a gang of jewel thieves. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Jul 28, 1998

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All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (3)

A peculiar and neglected early Hitchcock stage adaptation.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The plotting is half-baked and the special effects are so crude that they make the back projection in Marnie look like the last word in verisimilitude.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A technically compelling Hitchcock film which, while made early in his career and rather crude, displays his genius at creating visual suspense.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Unsatisfactory early tongue-in-cheek comedy/suspense yarn directed and cowritten by Alfred Hitchcock.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Highly entertaining but practically incomprehensible.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for Number Seventeen (Number 17)

Good
August 12, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

This was the worst Hitckcock movie I'd ever seen. The movie's quality is horrible, it's slow and boring, and the plot is really thin. I don't recommend watching this movie.
September 6, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

"Coo blimey, if it ain't my lucky day! I'm a murderer, I'm a liar and now I'm a b-bathroom fitting!"
Number Seventeen is criminally under-rated! Point out the pothole sized plot-holes, the toy-town special effects, ropey acting and wobbly camera and you are just missing the point (and I even wonder if cinema is for you?). Anyway, this IS 1932, so surely a moving camera, as opposed to the usual rigid static shots, is commendable and who wouldn't wobble carrying the equivalent of a small bungalow?? Either way, the 'clumsiness' only adds to the gleeful mayhem at play.
However, 17 is meant as a comic parody of the spy story (but with a large dose of surreal craziness and the gleeful cackle of 'The Old Dark House' and 'The Cat and the Canary' thrown in for good measure). So it's not really meant to be taken as seriously as may be expected.
It's also a formula that Hitch would make his own (the spy story as a send up of itself) and is now so familiar as a genre that it feels 'straight' yet is often screamingly camp (Bond anyone?).
It is quite a surreal and odd little film for much of it's (short) length - for the first half of the film people seem to keep appearing and then disappearing again at such an alarming rate it's hard to keep up with who's who, but that's part of it's charm (even in the last few minutes, a lovely twist means still more identities are being revealed!). And, at just over an hour, it still manages to cram in many of the elements we have come to recognise as Hitchcockian: staircases (lots of them!), the mysterious 'bad' girl (who has to redeem herself), handcuffs and bondage, trains and chases on trains, bathrooms, moral ambiguity, people not being what they seem (villains? Heroes? erm... your guess is as good as mine) and probably the first very discernible macguffin (the necklace).
When all is said and done, why the Hell should we care about the plot flaws and ropey acting when everyone is having such a lark - including the portly prodigy himself - quite literally like a big kid playing with his train set! I really do enjoy 17 more than the generally more revered Murder and Blackmail (so the acting in those films isn't ropey??). It's certainly no masterpiece but it's a lot of fun and nowhere near the dud it's always been dismissed as.
A forgotten gem.
December 10, 2009
McKittrick

Super Reviewer

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  • Number Seventeen (Number 17) (1932) (DE)
  • Number Seventeen (1932) (UK)
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