The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog – review

Alfred Hitchcock's 1926 silent melodrama about a Ripper-style killer is gripping in its sheer brio and control

This restoration of Hitchcock's 1926 silent melodrama offers a gripping prehistory not just of his own work, but the Hollywood thriller itself. Ivor Novello plays the lodger, living in a boarding house in pre-first world war London where people are terrified of a serial killer called the Avenger who murders young blondes. The lodger is a strange, tortured figure whose neurotic sensitivity and vulnerability begins to entrance the landlady's pretty daughter Daisy (June Tripp), who is being courted by Joe (Malcolm Keen), a police detective on the killer's trail. But might not this lodger, with his mysterious nighttime excursions, be the killer himself? Novello's haunted appearance is a ghostly premonition of Robert Donat in The 39 Steps and Anthony Perkins in Psycho. The initial sequence, showing how news of the murders is disseminated in the press,

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