Young and Innocent (1938)
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As early as 1937's Young and Innocent, Alfred Hitchcock was beginning to repeat himself, but audiences didn't mind so long as they were thoroughly entertaining-which they were, without fail. Derrick De Marney finds himself in a 39 Steps situation when he is wrongly accused of murder. While a fugitive from the law, De Marney is helped by heroine Nova Pilbeam, who three years earlier had played the adolescent kidnap victim in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. The obligatory "fish out of water" scene, in which the principals are briefly slowed down by a banal everyday event, occurs during a child's birthday party. The actual villain, whose identity is never in doubt (Hitchcock made thrillers, not mysteries) is played by George Curzon, who suffers from a twitching eye. Curzon's revelation during an elaborate nightclub sequence is a Hitchcockian tour de force, the sort of virtuoso sequence taken for granted in these days of flexible cameras and computer enhancement, but which in 1937 took a great deal of time, patience and talent to pull off. Released in the US as The Girl Was Young, Young and Innocent was based on a novel by Josephine Tey. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Young and Innocent
Alfred Hitchcock, England's jovial and rotund master of melodrama, has turned out another crisply paced, excellently performed film.
Though not one of Hitchcock's strongest UK films, the tale is entertaining and it contains many ideas and visua motifs that would appear in later, better works.
swift pace and dry humor far more entertaining than most late night offerings
Exciting chase with typically excellent Hitchcock touches
An unassuming chase thriller by the youngish though not quite so innocent Alfred Hitchcock.
Breezy, romantic Hitchcock; an underrated gem.
Breezy thriller fun from start to finish with all the Hitchcockian flourishes you want (and the cameo, yes).
Terrific early Hitchcock, though it has dated rather badly.
Vintage Hitchcock. The tracking shot near the end is priceless, a great example of using the camera to let the audience in on something while the hero remains in the dark.
Audience Reviews for Young and Innocent
This is a good attempt at the story of a man who has to prove his innocence, but I didn't like the ending, plus it's a predictable movie. I kind of liked it, but kind of didn't, so I say it's average.More
charming early hitchcock similar to saboteur minus the propaganda. daughter of chief constable helps fugitive find real killer. featuring hitch's trademark blend of action, humor and suspenseMore
A decent early British film from Hitchcock. Not his first, but still an early one. The roots of his brilliance (that would fully bloom later on) and future trademarks (such as themes/motifs) can be seen here and there throughout as well. Overall, a decent film, neither spectacularly good nor spectacularly bad.More
A truly charming film from the Master of Suspense. Being a rather huge Hitch fan, I recently sought out some lesser known films from his early period. Of those I viewed ("Number 17," & "Murder!" among others) this one was my favorite--among the best of his Pre-Hollywood films. There is the usual mixture of humor and suspense, some nice camera work (including a wonderful precursor to the "key-in-hand" shot of "Notorious"), and most importantly, Nova Pilbeam. I'm not sure how this actress managed to play her scenes SO appealingly, and yet managed to have fallen SO completely off the acting radar. How many people today have her name rattling about their cerebral attic? Virtually none, I'd hazard, and yet she is terrific here--worth the effort of finding the video for her performance alone.
This film certainly is not in the same league as Hitch's best, but still is vastly superior to the average suspense film coming out of Hollywood today--or any other day, for that matter.
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