Downhill (When Boys Leave Home) (1927)

I was curious to see this since it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Roddy Berwick comes from a wealthy family. He’s the pride of his school and the future is bright. He and his friend take a trip to the Ye Olde Bunn Shoppe to have some fun with Mabel. While Roddy is in the backroom dancing with her, his not so wealthy pal robs the till. Mabel’s Mom goes to the Headmaster. She accuses Roddy of the theft. Through a misplaced sense of honor, he keeps his mouth shut. He gets expelled.

He arrives home a week early and Dad knows something’s up. He tells him he’s been expelled but it’s not his fault. Dad calls him a liar. Roddy leaves and the door is bolted to keep him out.

He heads for the Underground. There’s a nice sustaining and symbolic shot of him riding the escalator down, down and down.

He ends up as a combination waiter and actor. He gets the hots for an actress. She has fun toying with him. Then, his Godmother leaves him 30-thousand pounds. Wedding bells. Of course her acting partner hangs around. Finally, the bank account is overdrawn and Roddy finds her partner hiding in the closet. Since he was dumb enough to put the flat in her name, out he goes. As he gets on the elevator, the camera focuses on the word, “Down.”

That’s exactly where he goes. The scenes in a club where he’s a male taxi dancer have a tinge of the horrific and are very effective. What’s really captivating is when he ends up delirious on board a ship.

 Ivor Novello does a great job as Roddy.  If you avoid silent movies, give this one a try. It’s well worth it.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in British Movies, Silent Movie, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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