When Boys Leave Home

1927

Adventure / Drama / Thriller

47
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 1,924

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 1, 2020

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
978.59 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
74 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.9 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
74 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by drednm 9 / 10 / 10

Ivor Novello Suffers

I watched Alfred Hitchcock's DOWNHILL (1927) starring Ivor Novello. I thought this was a fascinating film although it's not very well regarded. Novello plays a wealthy Oxford student who stupidly takes the blame after a vindictive waitress points him out (his father is rich) as her seducer. The real seducer is his friend, but he takes the blame, assuming it will all blow over. But he gets expelled and sent home where his father pitches a fit and calls him a liar. Novello storms out of the house. Cast into the cruel world, Novello must find his own way. In a brilliant sequence, following an intertitle that announces "make believe" we see a well dressed Novello holding a cup of coffee, but as the camera pulls back we see that he is holding a tray and serving coffee to a flashy couple (Isabel Jeans, Ian Hunter). Well at least he has a job! But then as the couple heads to the dance floor the camera pulls back again and we suddenly realize that, as the couple starts dancing, they are on a stage. The audience comes into view and a line of high-kicking dancers races out onto the stage. Jeans turns out to be a selfish woman involved with Hunter. There is never enough money. Novello becomes a hanger-on until he receives a telegram with news about an inheritance. Jeans quickly marries Novello and starts spending freely. Time passes. Jeans and Hunter are sitting in a lavish bedroom. She's endlessly sitting at dressing tables, admiring herself and her jewels. Novello comes home and find a pile of bills, an overdrawn notice from the bank, and Hunter in the closet. The apartment is in her name and he's thrown out into the cruel world. Next we find Novello as a taxi dancer in Paris. He seems to have a "manager" who sells his dances and possibly more. While he dances we see a middle-aged age woman (Violet Farebrother) sitting at a table. She can't take her eyes off him. She arranges for an introduction. He babbles away, telling her his sad story while her eyes frankly devour him. Amazing sequence. But as morning dawns and the blinds are raised, Novello finally see this tawdry world of drunks and dissolutes and once again goes out into the cruel world to Marseilles. Sick and broke, Novello is saved by a pair of sailors and put on a ship back to England after they find a returned letter. Do they think there will be a reward? During the voyage, Novello hallucinates and relives his past accounts with all the horrid women in his life. This is a beautifully done scene. Finally he arrives home. I cannot think of another film from this era where the male is the societal victim and who, through nobility, suffers as he descends to the depths at the hands of women. Novello is actually playing a twist on the many Ruth Chatterton roles where she follows this sort of journey to find redemption and/or death. Along with The Lodger, this may be Ivor Novello's best film performance. As for Hitchcock, there are many great scenes here and lots of symbolism as Novellos is seen on escalators and elevators going down, down, DOWN.

Reviewed by SinjinSB 10 / 10 / 10

Hitch starts to show his style...

My copy of this movie is truly silence with no musical score. Whenever I watch a movie that is completely silent, initially I find it a little hard. But when the film is well made, as this one is, it doesn't take long to adjust and focus on the story as you are drawn into it. I feel Hitchcock was a master of the silent film genre with his ability to tell such a deep story with very few intertitles. Relying instead on the expressions of the actors and written notes and signs in the movie, without having to cut away to an intertitle, which allows the film to flow more fluidly instead of constant cutting between the live action and the title cards. Ivor Novello in the lead role of Roddy and in his prior work with Hitchcock in The Lodger really impressed me with his talent of conveying his feelings strictly through facial expressions and acting without the use of sound. Hitch is also good at using subtle exaggeration and focus on action to help take the place of the sound in his silent films. The story is that of a young man in school who is falsely accused of theft by a lady that he had danced with and he is willing to take the blame for a friend of his and is expelled from school. This leads to the downhill spiral of his life as leaves home after his father calls him a "LIAR!". Things get worse from there as ends up working as a gigolo in Paris, getting in fights, losing a large sum of money, and eventually hitting bottom. In this film we really begin seeing a lot of Hitchcock's visual style that he is so famous for. He has some really good use of fades and graphic matches between scenes. Two of my favorite where the fading out on the pocket watch and into a large clock, and the other being the scene where he fades out on a photograph and then back in on the real person. I really enjoyed the symbolic shot of Roddy heading down the escalator, showing us that is in heading downhill in his life. And my favorite "Hitch" shot in this movie was the point-of-view shot when the lady was leaning back in her chair and it cuts to Roddy walking into the room and we see him upside down on the screen. I also thought Hitchcock did a great job of portraying Roddy's seasickness towards the end of the film. I really enjoy seeing Hitchcock's style developing in his early silent films, that will become so prominent in his later, more famous movies. I also really appreciate Hitch's working in comedic scenes into his serious movies. My favorite humorous scene in this movie is the peashooter scene early in the film. Without giving too much away, I would have liked to see a more typical Hitchcock ending to this film. *** (out of 4 stars)

Reviewed by Rodrigo_Amaro 10 / 10 / 10

A Different Hitchcock Experience in a brilliant drama

In "Downhill", Ivor Novello's character life goes all downhill after a false accusation made by a girl who ruins his life as a rich schoolboy. He lost his only friend (Robin Irvine), abandoned his family after being thrown out of school, and all that happened because a pretty girl falsely accused him of getting her pregnant (there's a whole debate over what was the accusation because the film doesn't explain it so clear), which was a shocking thing at the time considering the societies conventions of the period. In a stunning dramatic exercise, way before his suspense films Alfred Hitchcock presents in "Downhill" the story of a man who lost everything trying to protect others but not himself, rejected his father because the last didn't believe in him, calling of him a liar, but this man realizes that he made a big mistake but not telling the truth to anyone, living a low-life with people of inferior classes, marrying with another troubled girl and more. And everything (methaporically and literally) spins around and around over this poor guy, so it's all downhill. This was my first experience on watching a Hitchcock silent film and it was a great pleasure to see how everything about it was brilliant, important, the way he moves with his camera, edition, direction of actors, the whole package. Novello's performance as the main character living in a constant delirant state, showing a sorrow that doesn't need to be overacted or appear to be so emotional, no, he has an expressive face that says more than we can see, you can feel his desperation and sadness in simple gestures. There's some bit humored parts (the fight between Novello and his wife lover at the apartment) that calm down the almost depressive story. One of my favorite parts (and to you might sound pointless) is a transition scene that fools the viewer in a magic way. Right after Novello left home we see him working as waiter in a restaurant, attending a couple that walks away from the table and start to strangely dance followed by other people. The image opens up without cutting and we see a stage, musicians and a whole crowd watching the dancers scene, Novello and other waiters start to dance too and we are fooled because he's not a waiter, he is an actor in a musical play. It's a very humorous transition scene and way ahead of its time, very brilliant and well made. I watched the film in the Public Archive (the link is present here on IMDb) so there's a few things to complain about their version, and another one that helped me watching the film. First: the final minutes of the film are missing, very significant five minutes (gladly, I found the missing part on YouTube). Second: their version doesn't feature the musical score presented in it which leads to the thing that helped me watching it; I selected classical musics to go with the film and that was very clever of my part, because the absence of sound (in this case) made me think on other things than the film, the problems of life and things like that. But after watching "Downhill" hearing instrumental music made the experience even better, and it wasn't distractive as I thought it would be. So my suggestion is that if you watch the film in the Public Archive do that, listen to Tchaikovsky, Strauss or film composers scores, that will help you a lot. From the very first scene at the school with the boys playing in the park until the last similar scene at the ending, "Downhill" justifies only the story as being a downhill thing, because looking at its magnificence it's a memorable and upper film. One of Hitchcock's best works even though it's not a work of suspense. 10/10

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