Champagne - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Champagne Reviews

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May 12, 2017
Some mildly amusing visual gags and the indications that Hitchcock really could have made a great Titanic movie are the only things to take away from this. Sums up the mediocrity of most of his British silent work unfortunately.
½ April 10, 2016
An early Hitchcock silent that is fairly boring. A few creative shots make this bearable.
½ February 20, 2016
Although not his worst film, Champagne is certainly Hitchcock's least substantial; a few flourishes that remind the viewer of the director that is developing are all that keep interest in this comedy drama that is unfunny and unexciting.
½ August 10, 2015
I reviewed this back in 1999! Here's what I said then...

"For those of you used to Hitchcock mysteries, whodunits and what nots, this VERY early work will come as a big surprise. But it's not surprise that this is quite the feast for the eyes, and quite amazing to watch for it's technical details.

The plot is simple, but yet detailed. A rich socialite daughter elopes with the man she wants to marry (with quite an amazing entrance with the female character), they flee to Paris, where she finds out her rich daddy is rich no more, and suddenly, she must face the glamourous 1920's world from a very different perspective..

Hitchcock fills the screen with a lot of details in this one, and one quite marvels at all the amazing camerawork going on. The special effects and finally the COSTUMES (!) are quite incredible as well. A cool movie!"

Rewatched this again today... my enthusiasm for this has died down somewhat, The print I saw today might have been edited, I seem to recall a trapeze scene in the beginning. Maybe that marred my enjoyment this time out....waiting for that trapeze...
½ May 26, 2015
There are some interesting spins here, including an imagined sequence that we don't know isn't real until Hithcock swipes back to reality. It isn't perfect, but I much enjoyed the interesting shots, physical comedy from background characters, and the overall plot twists.
½ November 13, 2014
A brilliantly directed film. Hitchcock is nothing less than a genius
½ September 3, 2014
One of the last silent films Hitchcock made showcases just how good he had gotten, technically speaking. This comedy is well photographed, with some interesting shots and extreme close-ups. Unfortunately it is rather forgettable story-wise. It is a situational comedy, and that kind of humor never really worked too well in the silent era, at least in my opinion. Physical humor worked great in the silent era, like Chaplin. It didn't have to be slapstick either, it just had to involve more use of body language than a comedy about a young girl's crazy ways and her father trying to teach a lesson about just doesn't work well. Some of the physical humor in the movie works, but on the whole it really doesn't land. Hitchcock had definitely come a long way in terms of cinematography though.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2014
I'd quote Oasis' "Champagne Supernova", but I don't want to condone '90s music, and at any rate, it would be way too blasted unfitting, seeing as how this film was made well before, not Britpop, or alternative rock, but rock music itself. Man, this film is so old, but then again, now that I think about it, I probably should work in a reference to some kind of Britpop tune, because this film is about as British as it can get without British accents. ..."Someday you will find me caught beneath a landslide, in a champagne supernova in the sky!" I'm sorry, but, again, even though I don't condone '90s music, after all this talk of that song, I had to just get that out, and it doesn't help that there really isn't much about this film worth "talking about"... if you know what I mean. Yeah, if you think that joke is lame, you might want to see this film, because even Alfred Hitchcock thought it got kind of lame. Okay, maybe this comedy isn't all that fall-flat, but it's a silent film, so don't expect too much in the way of witty lines... unless you feel like reading, you spoiled talkie moviegoer. So yeah, the film is reasonably entertaining, but it's still what it is, for better and for worse.

The film is more fun than one might expect, not unlike many other silent comedies, even those as comically underwhelming as this one, but this is still a silent film, and there's only so much that be done to draw narrative intrigue through a lack of vocal humanity, and it doesn't help that Alfred Hitchcock's and Eliot Sanard's script neither keeps all that consistent in dialogue worth advertising via intertitle, nor, if you will, "tells" you all that much about its characters. Both a fluff piece and a simplistic silent opus, this film should by no means be all that terribly interested in fleshing out its narrative and characters, but there's something about the developmental aspects of this film that is a little too lacking, being all but deprived of immediate background, and offering little in the way of gradual exposition. The film is perhaps a little too underdeveloped with its characters, and that's distancing enough, but the film is perhaps most distancing when it does the opposite of brushing over storytelling and drags its feet with meandering material that, for all the lively spots, blands up something fierce before too long. The film is either entertaining or, well, rather dull, and that is really determined by the humor, which is often flat, or at least dated, to the point of feeling nonexistent for long stretches of time in a film that cannot afford to lose momentum to its fluff if it's to be driven so much by it. Yes, people, at the end of the day, the fluff is what really waters down this affair, which was never to be as fine as the champagne it promotes, due to the sheer thinness of a story concept that thrives on light fun that the execution can't always provide. The film ultimately does enough with little to do its job as a classic piece of light entertainment serviceably, yet the story is so thin, and it's execution is perhaps just as much so, thus, the final product runs the risk of falling to mediocrity. It's just too light for its own good, and yet, it's not so empty that it doesn't prove to be reasonably fun in a lot of ways, falling flat in certain areas, and keeping you going in others, including areas of production value.

Wilf Arnold's potential as art director are pretty substantially limited in this minimalist affair, yet, as a portrait of the rich, this film still holds a fair bit of potential as eye candy that set designer Michael Powell explores reasonably well with his tastes in fine scenery, which is itself explored reasonably well with Jack E. Cox's tastes in cinematography. Dated in most every areas, including technical value, this film doesn't look especially good, especially considering that, with an abandonment of thriller and drama stories, Alfred Hitchcock abandons much of his distinctive plays with lighting and framing to visual style, but there's still enough scope and polish to Cox's lensing to help draw you into the film. Visual style, however lacking, plays a relatively hefty role in sustaining your attention through all of those bland challenges, yet it alone cannot save the engagement value of this underdeveloped, unevenly structured and altogether narratively thin silent movie. No, what can make or break this effort is Hitchcock's and Eliot Stannard's script, which, of course, makes plenty of mistakes along the way, undercooking certain aspects, and meandering with its handling of others, while, dare I say, falling flat with its humor in so many places, and yet, on the whole, this is a clever and often genuinely amusing interpretation of Walter C. Mycroft's story idea, complete with, well, figuratively colorful characters. No matter how lacking in their development, the characters are about as memorable as anything in this forgettable film, and for this, we have to thank the lively and admittedly rarely over-the-top performances, just as we have to thank a certain offscreen performance for its portrayal of the rest of the storytelling aspects. Hitchcock, as director, gave this film the business in retrospect, and quite frankly, you can't help but feel as though there's something lacking in the inspiration behind this film, yet not so lacking that Hitchcock doesn't deliver on enough stylish shots and some tightness to pacing to subtly, but surely, keep you going. Subtle touches can go a long way in this very sensitive project, and I can't promise that they'll be palpable enough to many for the final product to stand beyond mediocrity, but the patient are sure to have some fair fun to meet every bland spell, of which there are many, quite frankly.

When the party is over, the distancing quietness and thin story concept, executed with flatness to development, pacing and certain humor, threaten the final product with mediocrity, overcome by the good-looking production designs and cinematography, clever writing, and decent acting and direction which make Alfred Hitchcock's "Champagne" a reasonably entertaining, if flat comic twist for a legend in dramatic filmmaking.

2.5/5 - Fair
½ February 26, 2014
It's overall decent, just not my type of film. The characters are fun for the silent era, and the story isn't terribly bad. It does get slow at times, and it is hard to keep interest beyond the exciting scenes.
September 7, 2013
Alfred Hitchcock se lance dans la comedie avec ce terriblement penible Champagne, huitieme long metrage de son auteur. Si la realisation est encore plutot inventive, le scenario est lui previsible et ennuyeux, avec un bon quart d'heure en trop. De plus, Betty Balfour et Jean Bradin ne sont pas tres bons, ce qui n'aide pas du tout.
February 2, 2013
There is some good cinematography which hints at some emerging greatness from a man who went on to have a truly prolific career in film, but apart from that Champagne is little more than another underwhelming silent film from Hitchcock's early career that is mildly entertaining but ultimately undeserving of a recommendation.
½ November 30, 2012
pithy review (supplied by hitch): that was flat champagne.... nothing bubbly or noteworthy here, except the beginning and ending scenes which are mirror images of one another (pov through the upturned bottom of a champagne glass, nice touch sir alfred)...
July 8, 2012
I just found this to be a tremendous bore. The plot and characters to be impenetrable and despite the odd touch there is very little to be taken from this film. For enthusiasts only.
June 17, 2012
A decent early Hitchcock silent movie. A Wall Street philanthropist fakes being bankrupt in order to teach his spolied daughter not to take her wealth for granted. Since this is a silent film I cant judge the acting very well because there is no audio but Betty Belfour was good as the main character who was the spoiled daughter. The movie was well photographed for the time and used some interesting shots to convey emotion. But the plot is slow and at times felt like a bunch of random events cobled together or maybe thats just me. I wouldnt consider this one of Hitchcocks great early silents before his talkies because he was trying to make a comedy with this movie but to me, it didnt feel like a comedy and more like a moral drama but still a decent movie in its own right. 3 out of 5 stars.
½ January 11, 2012

"Wall Street took advantage of my absence."-The Father (Gordon Harker)


I have to say that, this film is my least favorite Hitchcock outing.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2011
This is an early, silent, and atypical effort from Hitch that is a comedy centerting around a wealthy man who, after his daughter decides to run off with the man she wants (and enjoy the good life with no real consequence), he decides to show her a lesson by pretending to be bankrupt, forcing her to try to learn her lesson and make a living on her own.

It's a fun set up, but honestly, this film is quite forgettable. The picture and sound quality are so-so, but, but it's the execution where this film drags. And it is just that: a drag. This sould be fun, but it's atually rather boring and underwhelming. It's an odd curiousity piece, and probably the only film I know of that involves a man who made his fortune in the champagne business, but, aside from some really good music and being decently shotm this film is rather blah, and doesn't have a whole lot to offer.

See it if you feel you must, but don't expect anything great or even really all that eye catching or memorable.
August 22, 2011
Ótima comédia do gde mestre do suspense.
Assisti na Mostra Hitchcock em 2011 no CCBB
½ August 21, 2011
Even Hitch hated this very weak early entry in his filmography.
August 1, 2011
mehhh, not funny or interesting.
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