The Lodger (1926)

Article #208 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-10-2001
Posting date: 2-23-2002

Blondes are being murdered by a Jack-the-Ripper type stalker. When a new lodger arrives at a boarding-house and acts suspicious, the owners of the house begin to suspect that he is the murderer.

This very early Hitchcock film already has a lot of the touches for which he would become famous. His dark sense of humor is in evidence throughout, and there are a number of striking visual moments, such as watching the lodger turn all the pictures in the room with their faces to the wall, and some interesting shots of him with the heroine in which they are both looking in different directions and then switch to the direction in which the other person was looking. What I really liked was how well he kept the sense of mystery as to whether the lodger was indeed the murderer or not; keeping this revelation a secret until the end of the movie helped to build the tension nicely. This was a very satisfying movie, and a very good indication of how quickly he honed his talents.

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