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Number Seventeen Photos

Movie Info

In an empty London house, a hobo named Ben (Leon M. Lion) looks for shelter yet instead finds a corpse. When Detective Fordyce (John Stuart) shows up, he questions Ben, but is interrupted when a girl (Ann Casson) falls through the roof. Her father has vanished, and she's received an inscrutable telegram that mentions both the house and a missing necklace. Soon more suspicious characters turn up, all looking for the necklace, and none of them who they claim to be.

Cast & Crew

John Stuart
Barton
Bart Jones
Henry Doyle
Ann Casson
Rose Ackroyd
Henry Caine
Mr. Ackroyd
Herbert Langley
The Guard on Train
John Maxwell
Producer
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Critic Reviews for Number Seventeen

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Number Seventeen

  • Apr 28, 2012
    This was one of Hitchcock's early works and was one of his worse. It was very hard to follow and despite the film being only slightly more than an hour it was boring. There was one thing I liked a lot though. The klutz humor that Ben brought to the table. Without that this would be one of my least favorite movies, which I would hate to say for any work of Hitch. This is defiantly the worse film I've seen of his but he was still a young director who had time to learn, and he certainly did.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2010
    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.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2007
    I wouldn't call this a complete disaster, but I guess even the masters have to start somewhere...Hitchcock totally lost me on this one. Number 17 is full of atmosphere, has a neat setting, and bubbles with black-and-white charm, but the plot doesn't make any sense at all. I had trouble hearing the characters because of the sound, which isn't really Hitchcock's fault, but it made the storyline even harder to follow. And the acting is ass. This was obviously just a fun little bauble for Hitchcock to kick around. He plays around a lot with light, shadow and sound in the movie; clearly honing his grasp of the atmospheric. I think I read somewhere that he made this movie just to fund Rich and Strange, and I believe it. Valuable only as a curio for die-hard Hitchcock fans.
    Drew S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 20, 2007
    "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.
    William S Super Reviewer

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