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Downhill, made at Gainsborough Studios (UK) in 1927, was written by its star, Ivor Novello, in collaboration with Constance Collier. Released in the United States as When Boys Leave Home.
Roddy Berwich (Novello) scores the winning try in an important rugby match at his private school. Later he's made School Captain. But his delight is short-lived, for a local waitress accuses him of misconduct. Out of loyalty to his friend, Tim Wakely (Robin Irvine), Roddy doesn't deny the charge, and is expelled. Worse, his father thinks he must be guilty - so Roddy leaves home.
He finds work as a minor actor in a theater. Things look up when he inherits 30,000 pounds and successfully woos and marries the leading actress (Isabel Jeans). But secretly she keeps up an affair with her leading man (Ian Hunter), and when Roddy's money runs out, discards him. Next he works in a Paris music hall as a gigolo, but quits in disgust.
Finally, he ends up delirious in a dockside room in Marseilles. Some sailors take pity on him and ship him back to London. He cuts a shabby figure on arriving home. Meanwhile, his father has learned the truth about the waitress's accusation, and joyfully welcomes his son's return. In an Old Boys' rugby match, Roddy scores another try.
Alfred Hitchcock experimented with some dream sequences by shooting them in super-impositions and blurred images; this was unlike the work of most other directors of that time except possibly the early work of Rene Clair and Abel Gance.
Starring Ivor Novello, Isabel Jeans, Lilian Braithwaite, Ian Hunter. Run time: 81:43 minutes. Black and White. Silent.
No serious Alfred Hitchcock collection should be without Downhill.
We proudly possess an excellent copy of Downhill, which has never been released commercially in the United States, was recorded from European TV, and has the original title cards in English. With our state-of-the-art facilities we are offering a limited number of reproductions on DVD at $35. + postage US shipping $.99 first class or $5.10 priority. Outside US $3 for air. This reproduction is sold collector to collector. The seller owns no rights to this movie and no transfer of rights is given or implied.
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