Number Seventeen (Number 17)

1932

Number Seventeen (Number 17) (1932)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Number Seventeen (Number 17) Photos

Movie Info

John Stuart is blown into a derelict building to find cockney Leon M. Lion crashed for the night; a corpse; a blonde looking for her father; a couple, one of whom is mute, wanting to view the property at midnight - plus a handcuffed couple hanging from a crumbling staircase and a bus and train race to the Channel ferry.

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Cast

Anne Grey
as The Girl
John Stuart
as The Detective
Barry Jones
as Henry Doyle
Ann Casson
as Rose Ackroyd
Garry Marsh
as Sheldrake
Henry Caine
as Mr. Ackroyd
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Critic Reviews for Number Seventeen (Number 17)

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

A peculiar and neglected early Hitchcock stage adaptation.

Mar 20, 2012 | Full Review…

The plotting is half-baked and the special effects are so crude that they make the back projection in Marnie look like the last word in verisimilitude.

Mar 20, 2012 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A most endearing Alfred Hitchcock whirl

Oct 3, 2015 | Full Review…

A technically compelling Hitchcock film which, while made early in his career and rather crude, displays his genius at creating visual suspense.

Mar 20, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Unsatisfactory early tongue-in-cheek comedy/suspense yarn directed and cowritten by Alfred Hitchcock.

Jun 17, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Highly entertaining but practically incomprehensible.

May 20, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Number Seventeen (Number 17)

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
Aj V

Super Reviewer

"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 Sleet
William Sleet

Super Reviewer

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 Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

NUMBER SEVENTEEN is one of the very few films Alfred Hitchcock made that has aged poorly. It's bizarre to find a movie he made that doesn't improve on a second viewing; even JAMAICA INN and THE SKIN GAME get better the more you look at them. Here's an unfortunate exception. While it doesn't lack merit as a rollicking little caper, the story is too confusing for the film to be enjoyed, and surprisingly enough the direction is clumsy and the whole thing ends up rather incoherent. There may be a reason for this. Hitchcock made this in a hurry to get to a project he was eager to work on, RICH AND STRANGE, one of his most offbeat and personal films (actually released before this one). As a result, this very short and very stagy little comedy/thriller feels like the work of someone who didn't really care. While this is something that rarely happens in his catalog as director, you can sense the same thing to a lesser extent in STAGE FRIGHT and THE SKIN GAME, yet the technical competence of the former and the fine source material and performances of the latter make those more fun and interesting to see than this. The real crime here is witnessing the failure of one of Hitch's only stabs at an old-dark-house mystery; it's a severe disappointment that he didn't explore the potential of the story to a greater degree. NUMBER SEVENTEEN is locked into its time and doesn't have anything close to the resonance of BLACKMAIL. To a fan of the director, it's essential but a bit off-putting. One good point is the closing chase sequence, which takes up a major chunk of the movie's second half (the total running time is only an hour). Despite the obvious use of miniatures, it's amusing to see the director play with buildup and action in an otherwise dismal effort

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Number Seventeen (Number 17) Quotes

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