Sir Alfred Hitchcock was a celebrated British director whose works include ‘Vertigo’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘To Catch a Thief’. The New Zealand Film Archive, together with the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF), revealed Hitchcock’s lost work, The White Shadow. Read more about the discovery.
Notable director Alfred Hitchcock, the ‘Master of Suspense’, is best known for his films Psycho and Vertigo. His career in the film industry started in 1919. Back then, he worked as a scriptwriter, editor and art director. After a couple of years learning the ropes of the industry, he rose to the position of assistant director in 1922. By 1925, Hitchcock has already finished a movie as a director.
Most of his works have a similar theme: family dynamics coupled with suspense. This is what he is known for, even years after his death.
One of his lost films done in 1924 was found in New Zealand, just in time for his 112th birthday. The film was initially thought to be destroyed as a result of nitrate degeneration. The film, The White Shadow, is said to be the earliest remaining work of Hitchcock. He was the assistant director, art director, writer and editor for this film. Only 3 film reels out of six were found, but the remaining reels show more than half of the movie.
The film stars Betty Compson, a famous silent film actress. The White Shadow is about twin sisters, one of them virtuous while the other is soulless. Both characters are played by Betty Compson. The 3 reels of film uncovered will be preserved at Park Road Post Production. A print of the film will be given to the British Film Institute for the Hitchcock Rescue Project. The discovery of Hitchcock’s lost reels allows us a glimpse of his multiple talents. This gives us an idea how the ‘Master of Suspense’ started out.