Month: August 2011

5 things you need to know about ‘The White Shadow’

Whiteshadow

2011 saw the discovery of the ‘lost’ Hitchcock film – ‘The White Shadow’ ,  made in 1923.
But here are 5 things you need to know about ‘The White Shadow’ to really impress your friends and fellow film lovers.

 

1.  It is not a Hitchcock film.  
That’s right. The film now dubbed as ‘The Hitchcock Film’ was actually directed by Graham Cutts, a British Filmmaker.
Cutts began his film career in 1922, and The White Shadow’ was his fourth feature film.  His final film was in 1940- ‘Just William’, starring a young Roddy McDowall. 

 

2. The film was released in Australia on 20 September 1924.
And to prove that, here is the extract from an Australian newspaper , regarding the film’s release. 

Thewhiteshadownew

 

3. Hitchcock spoke on the record only once about the film.
The only recorded interview with Hitchcock referring to the film appears in the lengthy Hitchcock/Truffaut Interview Book.  Here is the extract below.

Francois Truffaut: Graham Cutts directed that Picture (Woman to Woman). You did the adaptation and dialogue, and were assistant director as well?

Alfred Hitchcock: More than that! My friend, the art director, was unable to work on the picture. I volunteered to serve as art director. So I did all of this and also helped on the production. My future wife, Alma Reville, was the editor of the picture as well as the script girl. In those days the script girl and the editor were the same person … It was while working on that picture that I first met my wife.

Then I performed these various functions for several other films. The second was The White Shadow … 

 

4.  So, what was Hitchcock’s role in the film?
Well , official records list Alfred Hitchcock as writer, assistant director, art director and editor. 
It was the first film he edited, and only one of three (the others being ‘Men of the Lightship’ and ‘Target for Tonight’)

 

5.  Tell me about the film reels.
Well, the number of reels found were three, which totalled just on 30 minutes of footage, from a film that lasted, well we aren’t sure how long the actual film was.  IMDB have no running time listed for it, and as of yet, no official release has advised us of how long the film is.  It could be assumed that it is around 80 minutes or so.
This is the state of one of the reel cans as retrieved from the Film Archive in New Zealand.

Whiteshadow_discovery4