The Manxman (1929)

A charming film which I which surprised was very timely: a father Pete (Carl Brisson) whose wife Kate (Anny Ondra) leaves him with their baby, living briefly as a stay at home dad. Although Kate's baby was actually with Philip (Malcolm Keen). The ending, dealing with Philip's morality as a judge, as he confesses to adultery with Kate. Morality as a judge...hmm that sounds familiar...


Plot aside, the visual storytelling didn't seem very groundbreaking to me, one shot in particular that stands out is after Kate says bye to her mom when she and Pete get married, theres a close up on Pete's hand closing the front door, trapping her in the situation. Also there was an interesting precursor to the Mount Rushmore scene in North by Northwest, when Kate climbs down some rocky hills to the beach to secretly meet with Philip. I guess Hitchcock liked rocky mountains.


Speaking of the beach scene, it was a nice touch to have the boat that (presumably) Pete is returning on in the background, when Phil breaks the news to Kate that he's coming home.


Another thing notable in this movie is that there isn't necessarily any one character that you feel more sorry for. Even for Pete, i didn't find I had so much more sympathy for him over the other two, even though he did get the shortest end of the stick by all means. Hitchcock makes us feel for all of the characters. The love triangle storyline is reminiscent of Truffaut's Jules et Jim.

Apart from the final confession at the end in court, and when Kate leaves Pete, this wasn't the most exciting film in my book, although very pleasant and at times quite sad.







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