The Pleasure Garden Reviews
The film from the opening title is clearly identifiable as Hitchcock Film with many clever innovative camera techniques.
The story of two Chorus Line girls who are seduced by 2 two shady men & taken for a fool until the 2 girls band together to avenge.
Filled with many scenes of suspense & tension & clear that Alfred Hitchcock is a great new talent.
a. it's hitch's first
b. it has a murder which is being sold as a suicide.
Like a racy old scarlet o'hare. Sort of. But the madness and the murder make this the second scariest silent movie.
It had very interesting characters and I thought the ghost in the at the end was a very cool twist.
Worth viewing if you are interested in movies
At first the film seems that it is going to be Jill's story, as we follow her hiring by the masher of an impresario and her quick elevation to the star of the lowbrow dance show the theatre is presenting. But it gradually becomes apparent that Patsy is the focus of the tale, as she is romanced by a friend of Jill's earnest fiancée Hugh, a rodent of a man called Levett. Levett and Patsy marry, whilst Hugh finds himself sidelined by Jill's new found stage-door-Johnny admirers. Levett and Hugh sail away to their overseas job in the colonies, leaving Patsy to pine for her husband and Jill to romance a roué Prince.
Patsy and Levett's marriage is a curious thing. He asks her that they "share our loneliness together" before he sails back to his job, which she takes as a proposal of marriage (we get the impression he was after some temporary female company). Once back in the colonies, Levett shows his true colours, shacking up with a dusky native maiden and drinking like a soak. Patsy gets word that he's sick and decides to ship out to see him, but the fare isn't easy to raise; her now wealthy old friend Jill refuses to help her point blank, and only the cosy old couple who run the house where she boards save the day. Unfortunately for Patsy, the first thing she sees when she arrives at Levett's lodgings is her husband in his native maiden's arms. There follows a denouement of rather rancid melodrama, as Levett kills his mistress, is haunted by her ghost, almost kills Patsy, is killed himself by a deus ex machina colonial superior, leaving Patsy and Hugh free to realise that they love each other.
Levett's cynical view of women (he quickly recognises Jill for what she is), his view of marriage as a mutual sharing of loneliness, his sexual obsession with his Other of a mistress, his murder of her when she puts his respectable life at risk and his haunting by the dusky temptress is a pretty lurid and provocative portrait of white middle-class masculinity soured by experience and conflicting desires. That he has to die for Hugh and Patsy to get together suggest that Hitchcock and his sources were up to the idea that respectable petit bourgeois marriage is built on the grave of all that it excludes long before the cultural and queer theorists were writing their stuff. Levett is a fascinating character, far richer and far more unknowable than the rather bland leads - the first in a long line of portraits of human oddity from The Maestro.
The film's opening sequence, as Charles Barr points out in his introduction to the recent Region 2 Network release in their The British Years box-set, has a dirty old man sitting in the front row of a theatre looking through a lens at the bodies of the dancing girls - voyeurism, the male gaze, women subjected to it all ready to go in old Hitch's very first sequence in his début film.