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The Manxman (1929) Alfred Hitchcock


In 1929, Alfred Hitchcock produced his final silent film in England entitled “The Manxman”. This film stars Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen, Anny Ondra, Randle Ayrton and Claire Greet. This was a drama and romantic film using different sets from the Isle of Man. There were also unique techniques to demonstrate different conflicts and the love triangle between the three main characters, Pete, Phillip and Kate.


The opening started off with fishing boats with Pete arriving from sea. Phillip, a lawyer and Pete’s best friend meets Pete at the docks. Shortly after, Phillip and Pete spoke about a girl, Kate that Pete is interested in. Pete then asked Phillip to speak to Kate’s dad, Caesar to ask permission if Kate and Pete can get married. Caesar denied the request, and Pete went back out to sea to make a better living and to have a better chance with Kate. While Pete was gone, he asked Phillip to keep an eye on Kate. Later on, Phillip received a note that Pete was dead. Following Kate receiving the news, Phillip and Kate went out on a date. At first, they do not seem to be comfortable with each other. Eventually, they were in love.


Then, Pete sends Kate a note saying that he is coming back and is not dead as well as promised Kate to marry her when he comes back. Following his return, they got married, however Kate is pregnant with Phillip’s baby out of wedlock, which introduced the main theme of this story, where Kate and Phil had sex out of wedlock. Following that, the story became more thrilling, where Kate and Pete tried to be together with the baby. Over time, Kate had enough and left Pete and hid out with Phillip. Later on, she came back to try to take the baby back, but Pete locks himself out with the baby. Finally, Phillip, later became a judge had Kate appear in court following a suicide attempt by the water. Pete and Caesar testified for Kate, and Caesar finally stated that Phillip, the judge was the main part of this love triangle.


In this movie, there were several camera effects used to literally describe a “love triangle”. Pete, Kate and Phillip were standing at an angle that created a figurative triangle to demonstrate the constant conflict. This movie also had typical settings of the Isle of Man such as the channel for the boats, and the use of a mill. The mill was also used to portray all special events, including Kate and Pete’s wedding. Throughout the movie, the cameras point of views have changed. For example, the actors looked directly into the camera, which was unique because the intention of the movie drastically changed from time to time. Despite the actors and camera effects, this was a compelling story because of human behavior, their facial expressions and body language. Overall, this movie had unique characteristics that were not typical in general movies of this time period.

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