Here is Hitchcock’s 13th feature film as director, and by now several of his cinematic signatures are beginning to coalesce. We have the trademark cameo as he walks by the scene of the murder early in the film. And we have “the wrong man” plot, only this time it is a wrongly accused and convicted actress who is found at a murder scene with the weapon, blank stare on her face, amnestic for the crime. Herbert Marshall has the first speaking role of his long and distinguished career as a juror who reluctantly casts a guilty vote, regrets it, and begins an investigation of his own into the murder to exonerate the convicted woman. The film is very much in the tradition of playfully macabre British parlor whodunnits. The solution to the mystery is a little creaky and very British and very dated, hinging on the secret identity of the real killer as a “half-caste” (presumably a 1/2 Indian 1/2 British man, about whom there must have been some racial prejudice attached). The film ends up being mostly a historical artifact, watched today for traces of the future, greater Hitchcock.
- God Told Me To. Directed by Larry Cohen. USA, 1976.
- 1909. Corner in Wheat. Directed by D.W. Griffith.
- Men in Black. Directed by Ray McCarey, Featuring The Three Stooges. USA, 1934.
- 1908. El Hotel Electrico (The Electric Hotel), directed by Segundo de Chomon
- 8-1/2. Directed by Federico Fellini. Italy, 1963.