The Manxman (1929)
The Manxman (1929)
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Critic Reviews for The Manxman
It's no masterpiece, but it's certainly something to see: Hitchcock's early work is full of surprises, dramatic and stylistic.
The Hall Caine novel from which this film was adapted is a weak one, but the director has done his best with it.
Filled with enchanting scenes and the story itself is quite well told.
Hitchcock's last silent, a veritable sonata of POV close-ups aimed straight at the camera
Audience Reviews for The Manxman
If he were still alive, then today, August 13, 2012 would be the day that Alfred Hitchcock turned 113. To celebrate, I watched and am now reviewing the final silent film of his career: 1929s The Manxman.
The story here, filmed on location on The Isle of Man, follows that of childhood friends Pete the fisherman and Philip the law student. They end up in a love triangle, both madlyattracted to village girl Kate. Pete ultimately wins her, but, after he is presumed lost/dead at sea, she begins things anew with Philip. Pete later turns up alive and unharmed, and marries Kate. She ends up pregnant, and conflicted over what to do, as the consequences may be dire.
Okay, so, storywise this isn't the most original film, and at the time Hitch, despite already establishing himself as The Master of Suspense, was still under contract with British International Pictures, and thus forced to do any picture they gave him, this being his final one for the silent era. It's dour, weepy, and a rather melodramatic romance movie, but it's fairly well played, decently acted, and gorgeously shot.
It has some thrilling moments, but this isn't really a thriller. It's just a nice, though not really upbeat love triangle tale. It's passable stuff, yet probably doesn't need to be 129 minutes, and definitely feels that long, if not longer. Still though, it's hard to rip on Hitch too much, and this is a must see for completists.
A pretty good silent melodrama from Hitchcock, it's sad and realistic, but some scenes are kind of boring and overly dramatic. Overall, it's a pretty good movie.
Two men in a little fishing village both fall for the same flighty barmaid. The two men in question are life-long friends, one is a fisherman named "Pete", the other is Philip, a young lawyer come to petition on behalf of the fishermen in a territorial despute. After the girl's father rejects the fisherman as a suiter for his daughter (on the grounds that he's penniless), he decides to sail to Africa to find his fortune, and leaves his promised girl under the watch of his best friend, Philip. Philip's mother doesn't approve of him spending so much time with a "publican's daughter", especially when he could become a "deemster" (apparently what they call a judge on the Isle of Mann) and being seen with a girl so beneath him could ruin his career. Soon though, a telegram comes declaring Pete is (erroneously) dead, and Kate announces "we're free" as she embraces Philip. When they discover Pete isn't dead, the couple decide to cover up their romance, and even though Kate loves Philip, she decides to go through with her marriage to Pete. If this movie were to be made today, Pete would be considered a dope, and no one would be rooting for him to win the girl. For a silent picture, it's certainly verbose/word-heavy, and while it's typical "love triangle" stuff, it seems to glorify just how idiotic women can be sometimes (this dame's not content to ruin just one man's life, she has to go for two). I'll say this for "The Manxman", it's watchable, and no worse than the typical romances of today, but like I said, it exemplifies all the horrible, flighty traits I find so despicable in women.
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