Hitchcock’s “The Lodger” Highlights FOLA’s Annual Silent Movie Festival

While not always known, Alfred Hitchcock began filming his great mysteries during the heyday of the silent movie era.  His greatest silent movie thriller, ‘The Lodger’, will be the feature silent movie at FOLA’s annual Silent Movie Festival on Saturday, August 20 at 7 PM at the Ludlow Town Hall’s Heald Auditorium.

Pictured above is the scene from the silent movie thriller, ‘The Lodger’, as the stranger first appears in the film which is featured on Sat., Aug. 20 in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is a 1927 British silent thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June Tripp, Malcolm Keen and Ivor Novello. The film is based on the novel The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes and the play Who Is He? co-written by Belloc Lowndes. Its plot concerns the hunt for a Jack the Ripper-like serial killer in London.

Hitchcock’s finest silent thriller, the film established him as a name director. Upon its release the trade journal Bioscope wrote: “It is possible that this film is the finest British production ever made”. It also saw Hitchcock make his first cameo appearances in a film.

The story concerns one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes, a man being mistakenly identified as a killer.

It all begins when a young blonde woman screams. She is the seventh victim of a serial killer known as the Avenger, who targets young blonde women on Tuesday evenings. That night, blonde model Daisy Bunting is at a fashion show when she and the other showgirls hear the news. Daisy returns home to her parents and her policeman sweetheart Joe, who have been reading about the crime in the newspaper.

A handsome but secretive young man bearing a strong resemblance to the description of the murderer arrives at the Bunting house and asks about their room for rent. He pays her a month’s rent in advance. The relationship between Daisy and the reclusive lodger gradually becomes serious, making Joe, who is newly assigned to the Avenger case, unhappy.

What follows is the impact of mistaken identity on everyone, especially on Daisy and the lodger, ultimately ending in the surprising conclusion of the film.

Jeff Rapsis will return to Ludlow to provide his original musical background support for the movie.

The movie is open to everyone and is free; donations are appreciated. Information is available at 802-855-8883.