The Pleasure Garden - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Pleasure Garden Reviews

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February 20, 2016
An endearing directorial debut with a dark edge, the stories of two betrayed lovers nosedive rather predictably towards a resolution, but from the beginning Hitchcock shows his eye for shots and his sense of the sinister.
½ January 21, 2015
Worth watching for any Hitchock fans as his first directorial effort. The story is pretty simple with ultimately two jilted lovers for different reasons finding love ultimately with each other. The humour and cleverness of Hitch is there to be seen throughout.
September 3, 2014
Alfred Hitchcock makes his feature film debut as a director with this rather mundane silent film about showgirls and dancing and whatnot. It is a far cry from his Master of Suspense peak years. The only noteworthy thing about the movie is it's director, and that is really only because he went on to do such great things in the industry. This is just his humble beginning.
July 1, 2014
A nice look into the earliest directorial thoughts and techniques of the master--Hitchcock's first complete film, and a quite decent one!!
January 31, 2014
The first solo directional effort from Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock.

The film from the opening title is clearly identifiable as Hitchcock Film with many clever innovative camera techniques.

The story of two Chorus Line girls who are seduced by 2 two shady men & taken for a fool until the 2 girls band together to avenge.

Filled with many scenes of suspense & tension & clear that Alfred Hitchcock is a great new talent.
October 3, 2013
For being the first Hitchcock this is a pretty decent silent movie.
May 19, 2013
Hitchcock's feature debut is an enjoyable enough film. There is no doubt that he eased into his career but this makes it clear that he always had the raw talent for the craft. The Pleasure Garden is mildly comic and mildly dramatic without either really having too much resonance. It is interesting to to see the dog 'character' given relative prominence in certain scenes. Is it possible that Hitchcock's influence reaches back so far as to be influencing films like The Artist nearly 90 years on? Slightly frustratingly I have read (since watching The Pleasure Garden) that the BFI recently restored an 80 minute version of this film. I watched a 60 minute cut. Perhaps one day I'll visit the longer version.
May 26, 2012
Premier film d'ALFRED HITCHCOCK, THE PLEASURE GARDEN est un melodrame de serie, assez moraliste, mais neanmoins parfois drole, parfois emouvant, un peu au dessus de la moyenne. VIRGINIA VALLI est excellente, les autres un peu moins. La musique, comme dans tout film muet, finit par taper sur les nerfs, mais certains plans sont si travailles qu'on passe outre ce defaut. Un poil longuet, mais divertissant.
½ December 25, 2011
Not a bad start for Hitchcock.
½ September 27, 2011
Alfred Hitchcock's film debut, this is okay as silent films go (not that I've seen many) and has an interesting, if very dated, story to it. Even at this early stage it features a few Hitchcock trademarks (the voyeur and the dog).
January 28, 2011
want to see because
a. it's hitch's first
b. it has a murder which is being sold as a suicide.
½ November 12, 2010

Like a racy old scarlet o'hare. Sort of. But the madness and the murder make this the second scariest silent movie.
November 11, 2010
One of Hitchcock's first films. Silent movie which uses basic conventions, but its Hitchcock and deserves the credit purely for his story telling mastery.
April 28, 2010
Hitchcocks first film has all the trademarks that he would use throughout his career, showing that he had it right from the start. This must have been as thrilling as psycho in its day.
½ February 20, 2010
Hitchcock's debut shows visual command & flair from day one, but inert second act & nonsensical story make it unmemorable.
½ May 22, 2009
I found this movie most interesting, I have only ever watched one silent movie before, that was a Buster Keaton movie which was only 20 odd minutes ling, this movie presented me with moving image from the mid nineteen twenties and interested me on many levels, its also pretty cool to see style even from a movie which is basic compared to todays visual masteries.
It had very interesting characters and I thought the ghost in the at the end was a very cool twist.
Worth viewing if you are interested in movies
May 5, 2009
Good movie, its incredible how you can get so attrach to a movie with no speaking dialogues, great film!
½ September 27, 2008
Hitchcock's first film is fascinating in that him shows him leaping, almost fully formed, onto the screen with his lifelong themes and his jaundiced views present and shockingly incorrect. The Pleasure Garden tells the story of a chorus girl, Patsy, who gives the gift of friendship to a newcomer, a rube of a girl called Jill who gets herself robbed on her first visit to the theatre and who lacks a friend, contacts and a place to stay. Patsy gives her all of these.

At first the film seems that it is going to be Jill's story, as we follow her hiring by the masher of an impresario and her quick elevation to the star of the lowbrow dance show the theatre is presenting. But it gradually becomes apparent that Patsy is the focus of the tale, as she is romanced by a friend of Jill's earnest fiancée Hugh, a rodent of a man called Levett. Levett and Patsy marry, whilst Hugh finds himself sidelined by Jill's new found stage-door-Johnny admirers. Levett and Hugh sail away to their overseas job in the colonies, leaving Patsy to pine for her husband and Jill to romance a roué Prince.

Patsy and Levett's marriage is a curious thing. He asks her that they "share our loneliness together" before he sails back to his job, which she takes as a proposal of marriage (we get the impression he was after some temporary female company). Once back in the colonies, Levett shows his true colours, shacking up with a dusky native maiden and drinking like a soak. Patsy gets word that he's sick and decides to ship out to see him, but the fare isn't easy to raise; her now wealthy old friend Jill refuses to help her point blank, and only the cosy old couple who run the house where she boards save the day. Unfortunately for Patsy, the first thing she sees when she arrives at Levett's lodgings is her husband in his native maiden's arms. There follows a denouement of rather rancid melodrama, as Levett kills his mistress, is haunted by her ghost, almost kills Patsy, is killed himself by a deus ex machina colonial superior, leaving Patsy and Hugh free to realise that they love each other.

Levett's cynical view of women (he quickly recognises Jill for what she is), his view of marriage as a mutual sharing of loneliness, his sexual obsession with his Other of a mistress, his murder of her when she puts his respectable life at risk and his haunting by the dusky temptress is a pretty lurid and provocative portrait of white middle-class masculinity soured by experience and conflicting desires. That he has to die for Hugh and Patsy to get together suggest that Hitchcock and his sources were up to the idea that respectable petit bourgeois marriage is built on the grave of all that it excludes long before the cultural and queer theorists were writing their stuff. Levett is a fascinating character, far richer and far more unknowable than the rather bland leads - the first in a long line of portraits of human oddity from The Maestro.

The film's opening sequence, as Charles Barr points out in his introduction to the recent Region 2 Network release in their The British Years box-set, has a dirty old man sitting in the front row of a theatre looking through a lens at the bodies of the dancing girls - voyeurism, the male gaze, women subjected to it all ready to go in old Hitch's very first sequence in his début film.
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