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83 minutes · 1937
Made in 1937 by a relatively young and innocent Alfred Hitchcock, this British feature tends to be overshadowed by The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, but actually it's only the uncharismatic casting that holds it back from being one of the most entertaining of Hitchcock's English films. Derrick de Marney is the young man on the run, accused of a murder he didn't commit; Nova Pilbeam is the ingenue who believes his story and helps him look for the killer. The film is as much romance as thriller, as Hitchcock develops the erotic frisson of the dangers the young couple faces (most memorably, a car drops suddenly into the earth, an early association of sex and vertigo). And then there are the odd lyrical touches—the description of a child's birthday party, a shot of a flock of gulls circling a beach—that would resurface 25 years later as full-bodied images in The Birds. With Basil Radford.

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