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The feature film debut of Alfred Hitchcock is an interesting one because of what it represents on so many levels, but sadly the least impressive thing about The Pleasure Garden is the film itself. Not to say it's bad, it's not, but it is an average, poorly aged romantic drama which probably only continues to draw any audience due to the legacy of its director. A legacy built on many better films made after 1925.
While there are confusing story aspects, which I can assume is the result of hack jobs by distributors, I do find there to be a handful of impressive sequences of editing and visual storytelling. Hitchcock's sensibilities and tricks can faintly be seen here, and that is exciting. He also gets good performances out of his cast, but these are generally weak characters in a trite, generic romance plot.
Okay, so where can I find the 75 minute cut of this film listed by Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd, and IMDb? The only version I could find is a bootlegged 60 minute cut that is sold as a DVD and posted on YouTube. While I'm at it, why doesn't the BFI just release their super cool, restored 90 minute cut from 2012?
The Pleasure Garden takes a long time to get where it's going. It's also difficult to tell the lead characters apart at times. It seems Alfred Hitchcock was still getting his feet under himself when in regard to filmmaking, but it was still interesting to see his directorial debut.
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.
A nice look into the earliest directorial thoughts and techniques of the master--Hitchcock's first complete film, and a quite decent one!!
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.
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.
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.
For being the first Hitchcock this is a pretty decent silent movie.
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.
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.