The movie “Number Thirteen”; The Mysterious Fate of Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature film

The movie "Number Thirteen" is a strange work; This work by Alfred Hitchcock has not been seen by anyone and in fact there is not even much information about it. The fate of this film is as mysterious as many of the next thrilling works of this famous English director.

BingMag.com The movie “Number Thirteen”; The Mysterious Fate of Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature film

The movie "Number Thirteen" is a strange work; This work by Alfred Hitchcock has not been seen by anyone and in fact there is not even much information about it. The fate of this film is as mysterious as many of the next thrilling works of this famous English director.

"Number Thirteen" was Hitchcock's first feature film, which unfortunately never came to fruition, but it remains a fascinating resource for film historians and fans. There are a number of photographs of the filmmaking process, including one showing a young, fat Hitchcock directing actors and actors in a location in East London, so we know he made the film or part of it. But almost every other clue to the project has disappeared.

If "Thirteen" was made and released, this year would be 100 years old, and now is a good time to ask why Hitchcock designed, produced and then Let's take a look at the whole movie. Stubborn film historians continue to track down new information, and it is hoped that part of the mysterious film will eventually be found.

A century ago, Alfred Hitchcock was a young, rash man. The potential filmmaker, in his early twenties, worked hard for the American company Famous Players-Lasky, later renamed Paramount, in film studios based in Islington, London. At the time, Hitchcock was busy writing silent film scripts (silent films always told a part of the film story in the form of pictures, usually containing actors' conversations), art directing, and solving problems that were possible in any part of the film project. Was to happen. This small, energetic package absorbed information in a strange way. In this way, he learned much more about filmmaking than any of his contemporaries, even though he was relatively young. The original Always Tell Your Wife project, starring the famous actor and director in the film, was dropped and he was asked to help complete it.

Hitchcock's time was spent sabotaging the work and other half-finished works of other directors, but he clearly already had his own strong directorial ambitions. However, this is where the story begins to darken. In 1922, there was no plan to finance low-budget films by young filmmakers. They could not take to the streets and shoot in a guerrilla style with digital cameras. Filmmaking was a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly activity. However, Hitchcock was not one of those people who was frugal or stingy in the financial part of his projects. It was built on a significant scale. The young director was in charge of a small army of technicians and even hired a photographer to take pictures of the team at work.

[Hitchcock] had organized himself for a good production with a cameraman in hand. He had no fear of doing such things. "He was very excited and very organized." The American company's influx into filmmaking in Britain did not go well. Few of its films had made a financial profit, and the company was now selling the studio and firing most of its staff.

A woman who had previously worked with Chaplin worked in the studio. Hitchcock later told French director Franois Truffaut: "In those days, everyone who worked with Chaplin was at a high level; "This lady, who was called Pi Badi, wrote a story and we made some money."

BingMag.com The movie “Number Thirteen”; The Mysterious Fate of Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature film

Was "Number Thirteen" the original version of Hitchcock's familiar and suspenseful drama about sex and death in the foggy streets of London? of course not! The film was a melodramatic comedy. Ernest Teaser, the British actor who later appeared as a mad scientist in front of Boris Karloff's monster in "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), co-starred with veteran actor Claire Gret.>

When Laski found out he was not going to pay the bill, Great put some of his money into the production process. Hitchcock was very grateful and embarrassed that he had not returned the money, giving him good roles in his later films for years.

Hitchcock's uncle also invested in the film. However, the money ran out. Brioni Dixon almost none There was no doubt that "Number Thirteen" had failed because there was nothing the director could do. "He was born talented," he says. "He was so mentally prepared that he could make up a whole story in his mind and then look at the preparations and practical aspects behind it." To be underestimated. In this film, Great plays Charlie, who, by buying a lottery ticket, dreams of a huge fortune that she may one day win. He intends to use the money to reward his friends and punish his enemies.

Charles Barr, a leading British film historian, argues that the plot contains some of the key themes in the director's next best-known films, especially Anger. Strong Hitchcock is found in the British class system. Contemporaries who met Hitchcock after moving to Hollywood were often amazed at the way he was treated in England, which was much underestimated.

The play The Admirable Crichton Effect of J. "The subject of social classes is an element that has been underestimated in Hitchcock's works," he said. "Hitchcock has consistently been critical of the British ruling classes, and it is not surprising that this is the director's first feature film about the English class system and the reversal of the master-slave relationship."

This failed start is fast. Hitchcock reduced significantly. British cinema was in its infancy from 1923 to 1924, and his first official film, The Pleasure Garden, was not made for another three years. Several Hitchcock biographies do not even mention "number thirteen." Others refer to it transiently. Nevertheless, the curiosity to find this key missing link in Hitchcock's career and personal life story continues.

  • Alfred Hitchcock's best films; Secrets and mysteries of suspension in cinema

Will the number thirteen ever be found? Perhaps the fact that many of Hitchcock's other works have been exhibited in rare places sheds light on us. Works such as "The White Shadow" (1923), in which Hitchcock was an assistant director, were discovered in New Zealand in 2011 and were hailed by the world media as "The Missing Hitchcock". Strangely enough, "Three Live Ghosts" (1922), the titles of which he designed, appeared in 2015 in a film with the wrong label in the Moscow archives, which had been re-edited by the Soviets. There is now hope that Hitchcock's first feature film will be found in such strange circumstances.

Dixon doubts this will happen, saying, "This is very, very unlikely, and I will tell you. Why. Everything happens in New Zealand because New Zealand is at the bottom of the distribution chain. The situation is similar in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. Movies are played and dropped to a point where they are not worth sending back. Nevertheless, since "Number Thirteen" was never distributed, the only person who could keep it was Hitchcock himself. "If he had not kept them, no one else would."

Charles Barr, however, makes a much more optimistic point. In his 1925 research, he discovered a letter from another young filmmaker, Adrian Brunel, to Michael Balcon, president of Ginsborough, the company that owned Islington Studios, and Hitchcock had written several of his early films. In the letter, Brunel discusses the "expansion" and reconstruction of Hitchcock's comedy (which he is sure is number thirteen). Brunel even "talked to Hitchcock about this."

BingMag.com The movie “Number Thirteen”; The Mysterious Fate of Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature film

proves that Hitchcock for The project revival was ready. If Brunel has seen the film, it means he has to stay in the production cycle. "If you're careful enough, maybe the movie is there," says Barr. Hitchcock's second feature film, The Mountain Eagle (1926), still tops the BFI list of missing films, but almost everything else he has made has survived and can be watched.

Dixon says: "Early in his life, he became a person whose work was worth preserving because he was a prodigy and a film director." . To others, it may seem like a futile endeavor for a few missing loops from an abandoned silent film from a century ago. Hitchcock himself claimed that the film had received little attention. However, just look at the breathtaking program "Hitchcock 9", the 2013 tour of the 9 surviving silent films of the director, from India to China, to realize the lasting charm of the director's work.

Mark's new documentary Cousins, under the name "My Name is Alfred Hitchcock", solves this riddle again. Will explore how the son of a shopkeeper from East London became one of the real giants of world cinema. Given his subsequent achievements, it is not surprising that there is such an obsession with his first film and Hitchcock's riddle of how the film disappeared.

Source: independent

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