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  • Hitchcock's final silent, 'The Manxman', has two stars you'll see elsewhere in his films - Carl Brisson, from 'The Ring', and Anny Ondra, from 'Blackmail'. It's a tale of three friends, a promise, a search for riches, and forbidden love. Malcolm Keen plays the friend who finds his loyalties tested while he strives to make good in his chosen career of the law.

    Beautifully shot and quite modern in tone, this boasts a lovely performance from Ondra, while Brisson convinces as a fisherman who trusts too much and sees too little. At times this story seems to veer towards the tragic, but has an ending which does work. The Cornish scenery which stands in for the Isle of Man is lovely, while the Hitchcock trademarks are clearly there. Well worth a look and very enjoyable.
  • This beautiful film is Alfred Hitchcock's last silent creation. Truly wonderful, this is a bit of a thought piece as the characters struggle with the moral dilemmas inherent in the plot. Should one stay loyal to a friend's trust or choose personal happiness at the expense of another's? Is status and appearance worth the sacrifice? Can love be forced or forgotten? This is a film that leaves you twisted and thoughtful. The actors, particularly Carl Brisson and Anny Ondra, are all wonderfully expressive. Words aren't needed to know what they are saying and what they are feeling. Miss Ondra was ethereally beautiful and heartbreakingly convincing as Kate. Very highly recommend for all true Hitchcock fans and a must for the connoisseur of the silent genre.
  • This is a lovely, lovely film set on the Isle of Man, a place unfamiliar to many. The camera swoops over the cliffs and sea to highlight the stark beauty of the landscape which is the star of the film. Don't expect the usual Hitchcock touches that were present in his later films...he developed them more fully in his very early talkies "Murder" and "Blackmail" and somewhat in his silent "The Lodger". The use of inter-titles is limited and works well. The cast here is good, Carl Brisson (who would later become the father-in-law of Rosalind Russell) and Anny Ondra who Hitchcock would use again in "Blackmail"; however, some of the plot lines are not fully developed and one rather important element is left unsaid in the story's ending. Be that as it may, if you are a fan of the Master, it's required viewing. It will fill in the history of his work and although it is atypical of his later films, it is worth the watch.
  • Sorsimus28 October 2000
    This film is one of the finest examples of how refined a medium silent cinema actually was. There is nothing clumsy or primitive in this one, the complicated, almost "soapy" story is told extremely fluently in images alone (with the help of the odd caption).

    Granted it does not exhibit the same sort of liberated camera movements than Sunrise or The Crowd, but nevertheless The Manxman has sustained a degree of freshness totally missing from most of the early talkies.
  • Hitchcock's final silent film is another drama focusing on a love triangle – his primary plot basis in these early days before he became the master of suspense.

    In many ways The Manxman can be seen as something of a loose remake of The Ring (1928), following a similar story of a love triangle between a man, his wife and his best friend, with similar characters and circumstances and the same lead man in Carl Brisson. However while that earlier boxing drama eventually pulled its punch (excuse the pun), The Manxman is a far harsher affair, with a ruthless disregard for its characters' fates that prefigures film noir.

    As was Hitchcock's style from his earliest works, his aim here as a director is to place the audience inside the scenario, no matter how uncomfortable it makes them. The film is almost entirely composed of point-of-view shots, and an unusually large number of them in which an actor looks straight into the camera. Time and time again Carl Brisson's big innocent face stares out at us, as if implicating us in the guilt of the other two leads.

    This also happens to be one of a small number of Hitchcock pictures which is very beautiful to look at. There are plenty of exquisite location shots and great use of natural lighting, in ironic counterpoint to the darkness of the story.

    While not quite the best of them, The Manxman is perhaps the most confident of Hitchcock's silent pictures. Whereas the majority of his silents relied too much upon rather obvious expressionist camera techniques, The Manxman is shot much more straightforwardly, and yet it still has a smooth, flowing style and isn't cluttered up with too many title cards. For me though, Hitchcock didn't really become an interesting director until he started making talkies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For me, this movie was an education in silent cinema.

    It is crucial to see silent movies in a good print. The Studio Canal Manxman is not pristine but is as good as any movie that old is ever likely to be. Because I wasn't peering through scratches at jumpy, faded, fuzzy images, I could finally appreciate how good even very early cinematography was and that silent movie acting wasn't just crude gesticulating. Anny Ondra is a revelation and the movie is worth watching for her alone. However...

    The movie is a love triangle. Inn-keeper's daughter Kate is in love with lawyer Phil, but agrees to marry his boyhood friend Pete, who then goes abroad to seek his fortune. She learns that Pete has died and gets closer to Phil. Pete unexpectedly returns and marries Kate. They have a child. Although Pete is a good husband and father, she continues to pine after Phil. Finally she leaves her husband, but Phil will not commit himself to her. She tries to reclaim her daughter, revealing that Pete is not the father. He refuses to give up the child and in despair she tries to commit suicide. She ends up in Court, where Phil is now the presiding magistrate. His role in the affair is revealed and he resigns his office to go off with Kate and their child. Pete is left distraught.

    This is not a typical Hitchcock movie and he was always dismissive of it. He had no reason to be. It is a finely wrought melodrama with many effective and moving scenes and is as well made as any of his more characteristic films of the era, but it also illustrates the limitations of silent cinema as a dramatic medium.

    I haven't read the book on which The Manxman is based, but I suspect its whole thrust is quite different to this movie.

    Phil loves Kate, but feels marriage to her would damage his legal career. With Pete away he becomes increasingly infatuated with her and eventually seduces her. He ought to marry her, but is still torn between love and ambition. When he learns that Pete is alive and coming home to claim his bride, he uses loyalty to his friend as an excuse to evade his responsibility, but is still tortured to see her marrying another man. He goes away to pursue his legal career and achieves his ambition to be made 'Deemster'. When Kate leaves her husband he still prevaricates. It takes Kate's attempted suicide and his denunciation in Court to force him into the decision he should have taken years before.

    It is really Phil's story and his moral dilemma is at its heart.

    All of this can clearly be glimpsed in the movie, but doesn't drive it. For example, Phil's Aunt warns him against an imprudent marriage, but it is never clear that he is ambitious enough to heed her warning, so when he helps Pete to court Kate it is not obvious that his pain is largely self-inflicted: he actually comes across as a sad, romantic Cyrano de Bergerac figure.

    Later, when he steps aside in favour of Pete the duplicity of his motive can be inferred, but isn't really shown. Rather, he seems both honourable and generous. Even when Kate has left her husband, his internal conflict is not fully realised. His indecision seems almost accidental: the telephone always seems to be ringing at the wrong time.

    Because the movie cannot quite get to grips with Phil's story, it becomes Kate's story by default.

    I don't think this is simply a failure of Hitchcock or his scenarist. It is also a failure of the medium. There are many great scenes in the movie: Phil helping Pete woo the woman he secretly loves himself; Kate's unexpected reaction to news of Pete's death; Phil's misreading of the situation when Pete wants to tell him that Kate is pregnant; Pete's discovery that his wife is missing; and many more. These are the sort of scenes that silent movies did best, so it is inevitable that the movie organises itself around them. But it also means that Phil's story loses its specificity and its central role.

    A whole generation of movie critics bitterly regretted the passing of the silent cinema and its 'universal language', but I think they misread the situation. By the early Twenties, movie-makers were becoming more and more ambitious and they were soon trying to tell stories that could not be told adequately in pantomime. They wanted to make drama, but the medium was always pushing them towards melodrama.

    One clue to their dilemma was the tendency to overuse title cards to explain the more subtle and complex stories they were now trying to tell. For example, The Hunchback of Notre Dame has some great visual images, but is so peppered with title cards that you end up reading the movie rather than watching it. The problem for silent cinema is that people talk: that is what they do - most of the time! When The Manxman was made, silent movies had long been crying out for sound.

    The silent cinema had a universality that sound movies lost, but it was bought at a heavy price. Silent cinema may have been a universal language, but it was not much more than a pidgin language. Pidgin languages are useful for passing a few simple ideas across a language divide, but they cannot convey the richness of thought that natural languages can.

    The issue here is not that you cannot make great silent films. Clearly you can. People did! It is that most stories don't make good silent films - and those were the stories movie-makers increasingly wanted to tell.

    I am belatedly coming to appreciate the considerable achievements of the silent cinema, but I cannot regret its passing.
  • I was pleased with this. I'm a great fan of Hitchcock, but I've not seen many of the early films. This one did not disappoint. It is the sad eternal triangle. It's a time when a man's oath to his best friend supersedes all, even if it means giving up the woman he truly loves. The young lady in question is of the lower classes and beautiful. It would be normal for her to marry the laughing sailor. The lawyer is actually above her station. When news comes that he betrothed has died, it would be natural for her to marry the lawyer. However, he is fraught with contradictions. His father was a failure and he is in line for a judgeship. He gets her pregnant but won't fess up. The sailor returns from the sea. News of his death was incorrect. So now we have the problem. She loves the lawyer. She doesn't love the sailor. But she has given her word to wait. Instead of being honorable, the lawyer wants it both ways. it has a pretty harsh ending which I won't spoil. I thought for a film of 1929 this was pretty good
  • Though it is a lesser Hitchcock, "The Manxman" has several strengths, and indeed it could have been a fine film if not for some major flaws in the story. The settings and photography are excellent, the acting is generally good, and the story's setup is believable and had possibilities.

    The best part of the movie is the setting on the Isle of Man, which is done very nicely, with well-chosen settings and terrific photography. The setting is woven into the story very well, and many of the scenes are given backgrounds and props which re-emphasize the distinctive setting and/or give useful symbolism to the events in the plot. Fishing boats, an old water mill, and the island's rocky beauty are all used effectively.

    The characters are presented well, and you quickly get to know them and sympathize with them. The first part of the story moves quickly, and efficiently establishes the love-triangle theme. The three leads (Carl Brisson, Anny Ondra, and Malcolm Keen) are all quite good in this part.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the story is rather a disappointment, moving very slowly at times, and often painful to watch because of some notable flaws in the ways the characters act. All this really detracts from the continuing good direction and camera work. There is a very nicely conceived jump cut at one point that could have been very powerful if the story were better, and the climactic sequence does hold some real irony and suspense, but it just doesn't have the impact that it could have had. Hitchcock does his best with things, but it's too bad that he did not have a freer hand with the material, which was apparently based on a novel that for whatever reason had acquired a certain popularity at the time.

    Ultimately, this movie is just average. But there are still some strengths here, and it is probably worth a look for silent film fans who especially appreciate good black-and-white photography, or for devoted Hitchcock fans who will appreciate the touches he added to an otherwise unsatisfying story.
  • Though immortalised for his thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock always wanted to try his hand at other genres, especially in his earlier British films. This film and 'Jamaica Inn' are two cases in point.

    Above all what he wanted to do was to engage the audience with the emotions of the characters, and this he successfully achieves with what is essentially soap opera material with his usual technical mastery - such as the stern father seen from the fiancée's perspective through the glass of a window, or the girl's diary where she turns the pages and finds her true love's name gradually dominating her life. The locations are also uncommonly rich and beautiful for a Hitchcock film - more so than 'North by Northwest' or 'Vertigo' - with Cornwall very atmospherically standing in for the Isle of Man!

    It was Hitch's last *total* silent ('Blackmail' came out in both sound & silent versions),and showcases the first Hitchcock blonde of sorts, pretty little Anny Ondra, whose career was sadly numbered once talkies came along - in 'Blackmail', her Swedish-accented voice was dubbed by Joan Barry.

    Knowing it's Hitch, you expect a big action finale or an attempted murder of some kind, but it never happens. In terms of style I actually find Anthony Asquith's similar 'A Cottage on Dartmoor' much more exciting. But viewers should wash preconceived notions aside, and just enjoy the film for what it is.
  • First time of watching this simple silent, and of course I like it as I wouldn't comment on (subjective of course) crap! It's a plain tale of a love triangle set on the Isle of Man, the woman (Ondra) falls in love with the best friend (Keen) of her absent husband-to-be (Brisson). Thanks to having to get round the censorship rules, you have to pay attention about 48 minutes in (out of 82 minutes running time on my tape) although it should be fairly obvious what was going to happen. As the immortal Bard, Charlie Chaplin said in The 1942 Gold Rush "Buzz Buzz Buzz". As Ondra stays dressed I can only surmise that this was the angle from which Hitch got his kicks.

    And Anny Ondra is wondrous to behold, she was a real beauty who still looks modern all the way from '29 and worth the price of any DVD alone. She held my attention anyway, and whatever the outcome of the story would have been I would have been on her side!

    But what she saw in either of her lovers is beyond me I'm afraid - Brisson couldn't stop laughing and Keen looked as if he'd never smiled in his life. It's not quite up to the level of Flesh and the Devil, but there's so few British silent films extant that it's well worth a look, or even just to view Hitchcock's early efforts.
  • My main complaint against this film is not the story, which hinges on the conflict of love versus class sentiments, and therefore is far more British than anything we can relate to in American cinema. No, the thing that struck me again and again as I watched this sudsy rubbish was the bad casting. The girl, a popular European 27 year old actress of that era, looks (intentionally, I think) like a ditzy 18 year old version of Jean Harlow. 18 may be a good age for a girl in trouble in traditional British lower class society, but it makes it hard to understand why the much older Philip would be in love with her, or why after her girl-in-trouble problem is solved, she would be so much in love with him as to push the love triangle into tragedy. The emotion flow doesn't make sense in either direction.

    For the role of Philip -- good lawyer, unreliable friend and lover -- we see a man clearly in his 40's who looks old enough to be the girl's father. The third node in the triangle is Danish actor Carl Brisson (34 when this was made) , whose most often used talent in this film was his ability to grin glassy eyed into the camera, showing us two enormous dimple lines.

    Despite the limitations of the casting and "Pete's" acting ability, the performance qualities aren't too bad. For example, when the town doctor comes down to announce the birth of the girl's child, he first asks "Who's the father?", as if he was the only person in a small fishing village who wouldn't know. Philip stands up excitedly and is about to claim the honor, but realizes that he can't give himself away, so he makes a small gesture to point at Pete. Nicely handled.

    Bottom line is that there's very little evidence of Hitchcock's later, more polished style, and not much other reason to rent this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hitchcock's last silent is totally proficient, equal or superior to countless contemporary Hollywood romantic triangles (here, a fisherman, a lawyer and the publican's daughter). The story is less than satisfactory since the lawyer gets the girl pregnant at a time when he believed his rival was dead; no one acknowledges this vital extenuating circumstance or explains it to the fisherman in the final denouement. But what's really disappointing is that the three principals (and the girl's father) are virtually the only roles in the film, and their characters are developed strictly from the necessity of the plot. There are few Hitchcock touches, either character or visual. There are no minor characters or bits of business that demonstrate the sharp observation and sly humor that is in just about all of Hitchcock's other films of the period, and it's therefore one of his most impersonal films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had low hopes of this movie when I picked it up for £1 at a local flea market. Hitchcock himself said "It was a very banal picture". It is a poor story - surely no-one is happy at the end ? and to call Malcolm Keen's acting wooden is to give him more praise than is deserved, after all wood can be varied and beautiful. Plus there is a complete lack of rapport between him and Anna - whatever happens he is pop-eyed and worried! When they disappear up the grassy hill at the end you can imagine the inevitable breakdown of the relationship.

    However the film was redeemed for me by 1) Anna Ondra - she looks gorgeous in every scene and conveys a wide range of emotions with sincerity and 2) the photography - the shots of the fishing village and boats(Cornwall) and especially the beach meeting between Ondra and Keen are stylish and impressive. So I enjoyed it - it's well worth £1!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ondra, alone, couldn't decide who she could commit to. First one, then another, too often. This is so true of too many of our youth today... They are apparently too used to having everything they desire. Everything, that is besides good sense, and integrity.

    That weakness was the destruction of all the principal players.

    It was, in fact, the driving force of her bringing each of the others down. They seemed beguiled by her innocent looks regardless how pretentious.

    This flaw allowed the others to choose not hurting her -- always at the expense of all others.

    It is a pity we still today --far too often-- favor the fair looking ones, despite our better judgment.

    Decent acting for so tragic an affair.
  • It's an old story. Poor fisherman Carl Brisson (as Pete Quilliam) goes off to sea, to make his fortune, and is presumed dead. Well-heeled boyhood chum Malcolm Keen (as Phil Christian), whom he's asked to look after fickle sweetheart Anny Ondra (as Kate Cregeen), accomplishes what you'd expect. Then, Mr. Brisson returns… This variation on an often-told tale was director Alfred Hitchcock's last silent film. And, not a moment too soon. The old-fashioned picture's main strength is Mr. Hitchcock and photographer Jack Cox' beautiful use of the "Isle of Man" locations; if only D.W. Griffith could have filmed his "Enoch Arden" there...

    ***** The Manxman (1/21/29) Alfred Hitchcock ~ Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen, Anny Ondra, Randle Ayrton
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It looks like I don't agree with the critics and the other users but I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I was more disappointed with the last two I watched, "Champagne" and "Juno and the Paycock." I found the love triangle interesting and Phil really wanted to preserve the relationship with Pete. The girl they were after was a knock-out even in today's standards commented earlier. Hitch ended the silent era with a bang minus the ending and everything after the attempted suicide. It got a little confusing and matters could have been resolved with the pregnancy happening after Pete is reported dead.

    The real question is did Phil ever love the girl as much as Pete. I don't think so as Phil thought more of his career than the girl. All of a sudden Phil has to hide the girl and she wanted the baby so she goes back. She ends up attempting suicide and ends up being rescued. This is Phillips big day as Deemster and she happens to go before him. He has to decide whether to risk his career and tell Pete the truth or go on like nothing happens. Well, he thought more of his career and wouldn't confess anything until the father of the girl suspected and everything unraveled. So if the movie was a little longer and more minor characters introduced this would be a top-notch movie. I sure enjoyed it and I will watch it again and again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I hadn't watched that many Silent Hitchcock films prior to this one - THE LODGER (1926), THE RING (1927) and the rarely-screened "original" version of BLACKMAIL (1929) - but they were good ones; I knew going in this wouldn't be a thriller but it was still a disappointment, coming from one of my favorite film-makers! Melodrama was never Hitchcock's forte and the pseudo-realistic background of a fishing community only accentuates further the director's incompatibility with the material at hand. That said, the film is nicely photographed and the resolution of the main plot is unconventional, to say the least - as the girl (played by the lovely Anny Ondra, who also starred in BLACKMAIL) chooses the company of the scholarly, upper-class lover over her rugged, more handsome husband!
  • Anny Ondra, eh? What a woman.

    The plot of Hitchcock's last silent movie reads like a storyline from the unaccountably popular Brit soap 'EastEnders.' Even though she doesn't really love him, Kate (the truly delectable Anny Ondra), a flirtatious pub landlord's daughter, rashly promises to wait for her young beau Pete (a hulking Carl Brisson) to return from Africa where he plans to go to make his fortune after the surly pub landlord refuses him her hand in marriage. She loves Philip (Malcolm Keen), an up-and-coming lawyer who just happens to be Pete's best mate and who also reciprocates her feelings of ardour. Lord only knows what she sees in him though, as he comes across as something of a stuffed shirt and looks like Piers Fletcher-Dervish. Anyway, word comes from Africa that Pete has died, leaving Kate and Philip free to declare their love for one another – something neither had felt able to do when poor old Pete was alive.

    Of course, this being an opera of the soapiest kind, it turns out the jungle drums got it wrong and Pete isn't dead after all! He returns to the Isle of Man a wealthier man, instantly making himself more acceptable to Kate's father. Now this is where you'd think Kate and Philip would come clean – after all, they thought Pete was dead – but instead they keep quiet about their affair and Kate marries Pete out of a sense of obligation.

    There's plenty more plot to follow, but suffice it to say that a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching follows. And either Kate and Phil were still at it after Pete returned from Africa, or Pete's too thick to do the maths and release that he was still ocean-bound when his loving wife conceived.

    The plot summary above actually makes the film sound more interesting than it really is. Everyone over-acts terribly, and all the characters are too shallowly drawn to be of much interest. The plot grows increasingly silly as coincidence is piled upon contrivance, and the downbeat ending proves an inadequate pay-off.
  • This film was much better than an earlier film, "The Farmer's Wife." In this film, the cast included Malcolm Keen (Geoffrey Keen's father). This film has a great cast even I don't know them very well. The story of a young beautiful woman, an innocent, and two men. She was the mistress to a powerful man and marries a young man. They become a family. The story is set on the Isle of Man. The story gets better and intrigue follows the small cast of characters. The courtroom scene is not to be missed. I enjoyed watching this film and see Hitchcock's growing fascination into the macabre that he became best known for but lets not forget his sense of humor and wit. The film is much shorter than the previous mentioned film which helped me get through it. Still if you're a film buff, a Hitchcock fan or student, this film is a must see even with a strange title.
  • Here's a weird little movie that leaves out all of the legwork needed to make dramatic moments work but still manages to raise an interesting moral question at its center. It's based on a novel by Hall Caine, and it feels like many subpar adaptations of novels that are more interested in getting the great moments into the movie rather than building a cohesive narrative that can stand on its own.

    It begins with two lifelong friends, Pete, a working class fisherman, and Philip, an up and coming lawyer, (we are merely told that they are lifelong friends instead of really seeing it in the movie's first instance of skipping over the legwork of dramatic narrative) getting a petition signed in favor of the local fishermen. This is literally never mentioned again after the five minute mark.

    Pete decides that he's going to go abroad on a ship to make his fortune, and before he leaves, he runs to Kate, his crush, to get her promise to save her hand for him until his return. Being a flighty girl, she accepts. Pete is elated, but Kate realizes what she's done and feels like she might have made a mistake. Pete convinces Philip to look after Kate while she's gone. In the movies next large example of skipping over the legwork, Kate and Philip growing closer and falling in love is covered by a view of Kate's diary that covers months of time. We literally never see them together until after Pete has sent word that he's coming home. The first time we see Kate and Philip alone together is essentially a breakup scene. This scene carries absolutely none of the dramatic and emotional weight it should because we haven't seen them together before.

    Pete comes home with some money, and he and Kate get married rather quickly, much to the satisfaction of her father who was disapproving of Pete before due to his previous poverty. In the movie's next large legwork skip, we go from the wedding day to an intertitle that says that Kate is trapped in an unhappy marriage and Philip has gone to London to study law in preparation for his assumption of a judgeship at home there on the Isle of Man (called a Deemster there). The first scene we see Kate, she looks pretty happy, but then she breaks down later bemoaning her unhappiness, unhappiness we'd never seen anything of until that point. It's another emotional moment that falls flat because the dramatic legwork hasn't been done. Instead of showing us how she's unhappy with a doting husband with money, all we get is an intertitle.

    Philip returns and Kate tells him that she's pregnant. The timeline is squiffy, but it seems like Philip and Kate had a physical relationship (it doesn't help that we see literally none of their relationship), Pete came home, Pete and Kate married, Philip went away and return in no more than three months, long enough to Kate to have sex and find out she's pregnant without anyone else realizing it. Maybe four months. Anyway, she has the baby, but she's still unhappy. We, of course, never see her unhappy at home, so when she shows up at Philip's new office as Deemster and says she's unhappy, we can't really believe it. She's so unhappy that she leaves her baby alone at home for presumably hours before Pete shows up to find their baby alone.

    The truth comes out in a dramatic courtroom scene where Philip gets accused by Kate's father of bringing dishonor upon his daughter, having figured out the truth through a series of clues. Philip resigns from his position on the spot, takes Kate and the baby, and Pete returns to the sea a broken man.

    Okay...so if the movie had actually done the dramatic legwork required to tell this story, I'd actually be really happy with it. The big moments are there and they work quite well. I don't really like the performances of the two male actors (Pete overacts and Philip is one-note depressed), but Anny Ondra, who plays Kate, is really good. She carries her moments really well, and since she's the dramatic crux of the film, she more than carries her weight through dramatic scenes that add up to less than they should. The central question, though, is inherently moral, and the movie comes to a conclusion on that question that is surprisingly moral and open ended. It's one of the more interesting things about pre-Hayes code movies. There was still a high moral component, but there was no directive that the bad guys lose. Twenty years later, Pete would have gotten Kate, the baby would be unquestionably Pete's, and Philip would have resigned and gone off on his own.

    It's a real mixed back that should be better than it is. It's an example of how adaptations go wrong, making sure to get in all the good bits without working to make the connections between the goods bits just as good. The movie is less about being a story unto itself and more about being subservient to the novel on which it is based. Hitchcock's last silent film is another stumble that misses the mark.
  • (Flash Review)

    A story that is common place today but perhaps not so in the 1920s? There are two good buddies, one newly marries and leaves town for a long duration to "make his fortune" and his good friend and his wife fall for each other while he is out of the picture. He returns and his buddy and wife try to forget what happened but there is now a baby in the mix. Love triangle drama ensues. How this this shake out? This was a fairly straight forward silent film. The story was fully coherent (not all are) and Hitchcock had a few smartly framed shots and generated solid tension. A neat old Hitchcock before he steps into sound.
  • Two men, one a fisherman and the other a lawyer, who have been friends since they were children, both fall in love with the same woman. Another love triangle film, but this one is a little different to The Ring because one of the men is not aware for most of the film that his friend is in love with the same girl he is. It's also less predictable than The Ring, but maybe not quite as entertaining. The characters are fairly compelling, and the performances quite good also. Unfortunately, Hitchcock doesn't have a lot of opportunities to inject the film with his traditional style, but the film's fairly good despite this. 6.5/10
  • Based on a novel by Sir Hall Cain, the film is essentially a "soap opera" of the day. The two male actors are a good watch. Carl Brisson was better as 'One-round' Jack in Hitchcock's earlier work "The ring." As a film, it is below par.
  • bevo-1367831 March 2020
    10/10
    Fish
    Classic Hitchcock. Great story with a surprise twist at the end
  • bkoganbing23 February 2012
    Fans of Nathaniel Hawthorne might recognize elements of The Scarlet Letter in the plot of The Manxman. For those of us on this side of the pond who don't know, a Manxman is one who is a resident of the Isle of Man where the main industry is commercial fishing.

    This was Alfred Hitchcock's last silent feature and it's a triangle story about Philip and Peter and the girl they're both crazy about Anny Ondryx. Philip wanted to make something of himself so he studied hard and became a lawyer. Peter was content to be a fisherman, but when Anny's father says that no daughter of his is going to marry some guy with no prospects that she rates better, Peter leaves the Isle of Man to seek fame and fortune and leaves Philip to Anny.

    She's been kanoodling with both of them, but it's Philip's child she's bearing. But it's Peter she's marrying. Peter is played by Danish film star Carl Brisson and Philip is portrayed by Malcolm Keen. Although the film doesn't have the tragic end of The Scarlet Letter, Keen does a Reverend Dimmesdale like mea culpa as the climax.

    Some of the scenes of the Isle of Man were quite nicely photographed and I'm told not much has changed in the over 80 years since The Manxman came out. Fans of the master of suspense will recognize very little touches of Hitchcock that they've come to love. The Manxman is a rather turgid melodrama put over by its talented cast.
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