Earliest Alfred Hitchcock Film Found In New Zealand

August 3, 2011 |  by  |  Entertainment
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An Alfred Hitchcock film entitled The White Shadow, which may be his earliest work, has been found in New Zealand after being “lost” for over 80 years.

Get more on the Alfred Hitchcock news after the jump!

The White Shadow consists of six reels of film–three of which were found in New Zealand projectionist Zack Murtagh’s collection. His grandson donated the collection to the New Zealand Film Archive after his grandfather’s death in 1989.

The newly discovered film was created in 1923 and released in 1924 when Alfred Hitchcock was just 24 years old. It may even be Hitchcock’s earliest known work, according to the National Film Preservation Foundation. They’ll help restore the film along with the New Zealand Film Archive, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art and UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Alfred Hitchkock wrote the film in addition to being its assistant director, editor and art director. Graham Cutts was the director.

‘This is one of the most significant developments in memory for scholars, critics, and admirers of Hitchcock’s extraordinary body of work,’ said David Sterritt, author of The Films of Alfred Hitchcock in a statement. ‘These first three reels of The White Shadow – more than half the film – offer a priceless opportunity to study his visual and narrative ideas when they were first taking shape.’

So what’s the film about? It’s a wild melodrama starring Betty Compson in a dual role playing both twin sisters — one is a perfect angel and the other is “without a soul.”

 

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