Action / Crime / Mystery / Thriller

Plot summary

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Alfred Hitchcock Photo
Alfred Hitchcock as Man on Street
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
876.34 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S ...
1.57 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 2 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer4 / 10

Difficult to believe time-passer

The film begins with a murder. A woman is found beside the dead lady and she has no recollection of what transpired. Given that she was in the room with the victim and there didn't appear to be anyone else, she is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In Hitchcock tradition in the 1930s, the rest of the film is about someone who investigates because they think she MIGHT be innocent (in this case, a juror who has second thoughts played by Herbert Marshall). This is a very, very familiar plot device (in fact, too familiar) that was repeated in Hitchcock's YOUNG AND INNOCENT as well as THE 39 STEPS. On top of that, Marshall's acting is really dull and he seems bored at times--something that surprised me since I usually like him in films. Plus, the plot has a lot of silly devices and holes that make it all seem very unpolished and ordinary.

Unfortunately, in addition to having a too familiar plot, the movie itself is a bit dull, though there are a few bright spots here and there that give it some life. First, the way the trapeze artist deals ends his role in the film is very, very memorable and shocking. Second, in one cute scene, Una O'Connor brings her five brats into Marshall's bedroom and thoroughly annoys him with their behaviors. This is very reminiscent to a funny scene with kids from Hitchcock's BLACKMAIL (1929) and it seems that in light of these two scenes and his never having had kids himself you'd think the director probably despised children! One final note is that this film was made one year after England's first talking picture (the previously mentioned BLACKMAIL) and because sound technology was still new, the results are rather poor. In some cases, people talk over each other and the conversations are muddled and in others the sound volume for each actor hasn't been compensated for--making the softer-voiced actors harder to understand. In addition, the print seemed a tad old and I am sure some restoration work could improve the sound immensely. However, since it's not that great a film to begin with, don't hold your breath!

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird6 / 10

Interesting if not great Hitchcock

Of Hitchcock's early talkie films, Murder! is not as good as Blackmail and The Lodger but it is an improvement on Juno and the Paycock. It is an interesting film, particularly for Hitchcock completists, but it is a long way from one of his best. Murder! is very well shot and photographed, and Hitchcock directs splendidly with some tautness, subtle humour and a great deal of atmosphere. The lighting is very fitting to the tone of the story and the costumes and sets are beautifully evoked. The music is haunting and never too much or little, the use of the Tristan and Isolde prelude was also a nice touch. Of individual scenes coming off best were the thrilling beginning courtroom sequence and the suspenseful climax. Herbert Marshall is very good in the lead role. Apart from Marshall though the acting does come across as too stagy, Nora Baring and Esme Percy are particularly prone to it, but Marshall is the only actor who doesn't come across as on the stagy side. Aside the beginning and end, the story didn't come across as involving. A lot of it is rather dull and lacking in suspense, for a Hitchcockian whodunit with the wrong man theme that was somewhat odd and disappointing. The script has flashes of intelligence especially at the beginning but is tonally disjointed and lacks life in much of the film. And as a few have mentioned the voices and the way the actors speak are very heavily clipped and accented(even for a Hitchcock early talkie),so it is not always easy to understand what is being said. All in all, an interesting film but not a great one. 6/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

The Play's The Thing

Murder! is one of Alfred Hitchcock's earliest sound features and one of the first which will employ some clever Hitchcock suspense devices in the dialog and cinematography. The film concerns Herbert Marshall playing an actor/playwright in the tradition of Noel Coward who gets put on a jury where Norah Baring is on trial for Murder!.

Who Baring is accused of Murder! is a fellow actress in her theatrical company. She is shielding the real murderer and even after the verdict is brought in, only Marshall has his doubts. He starts his own investigation and eventually comes up with the real culprit.

I have to reveal it folks because while Marshall and Baring do some fine work here, I was really moved by Esme Percy's performance as the cross dressing murderer. The victim was about to reveal that Percy was of mixed racial origin, something he had kept carefully hidden for years. Back in those days when some John Bulls were trying to keep the British Empire intact and its rule over millions of non-white people such an accusation was as bad as being accused of being gay. And Percy's mincing performance because after all he is a female impersonator throws some hints at the audience of at least bisexuality.

Percy creates such an air of sadness about him when Marshall confronts him Hamlet like when he calls him for an audition of a new play he's doing based on the murder case on which he sat. With minimal dialog, but with expressions that say so much more Percy realizes the jig is nearly up. But as a performer he makes a grand exit from life itself.

Definitely a must see for fans of the master of suspense, especially those who like Hitchcock's English period work. n

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