Downhill (1927) 1080p YIFY Movie

Downhill (1927) 1080p

Downhill is a movie starring Ivor Novello, Ben Webster, and Norman McKinnel. Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend's charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures.

IMDB: 6.21 Likes

  • Genre: Adventure | Drama
  • Quality: 1080p
  • Size: 2.01G
  • Resolution: / fps
  • Language:
  • Run Time: 110
  • IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 
  • MPR: Normal
  • Peers/Seeds: 25 / 21

The Synopsis for Downhill (1927) 1080p

Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend's charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures.

The Director and Players for Downhill (1927) 1080p

[Director]Alfred Hitchcock
[Role:]Robin Irvine
[Role:]Norman McKinnel
[Role:]Ben Webster
[Role:]Ivor Novello

The Reviews for Downhill (1927) 1080p

Early Silent Hitchcock is Worthy ViewingReviewed bydglinkVote: 7/10

Classmates and close friends at an English public school, Roddy Berwick and Tim Wakely compete for the affections of a local shop girl. When the girl falsely accuses Roddy of getting her pregnant, he is expelled. However, Roddy remains silent to protect Tim, who was the guilty party, and the friends make a pact to keep silent. Outraged at his expulsion, Roddy's father does not believe his son's claims of innocence and throws him out. Thus, Roddy strikes out on his own, and his life begins a downward spiral from stage acting to a disastrous marriage to taxi dancing to the Marseilles waterfront. "When Boys Leave," also known as "Downhill," was Alfred Hitchcock's fifth completed film, and, early on in his career, the master director explores his oft-repeated theme of the wrongfully accused.

Shot in 1927, the film is silent with inter-titles, and the black-and-white cinematography is often well lit with striking visual compositions. However, Hitchcock generally holds the camera steady, and movement occurs within the frame. The film lacks the camera fluidity common among movies of the late silent era, although Hitchcock is already a master of visual story-telling, and the inter-titles are brief and sparse. As Roddy's life reels out of control, he is dwarfed by his surroundings in rooms with impossibly high ceilings and doors that are more than twice his height. Fortunately, Hitchcock elicits naturalistic performances from his cast, and none indulges in the grand style of acting that negatively stereotyped silent movies. Ivor Novello, a Welsh matinée idol best known for his musical talents, plays the suffering Roddy quite well. Isabel Jeans as Julia Fotheringale, a spendthrift actress, and Ian Hunter as Archie, Julia's shady lover, provide amusing support during one colorful episode in Roddy's descent.

"When Boys Leave" is from Hitchcock's apprentice period in England, when he was still learning the craft. While the story is thin, and the motivations vague, this short silent film shows flashes of the genius to come, and, for students of the master, every Hitchcock film is worthwhile viewing.

"The world of lost illusions"Reviewed bySteffi_PVote: 4/10

Alfred Hitchcock, despite all his ability, was undeniably a largely mechanical filmmaker. His approach was one of planning and manipulation rather than aesthetics or feeling. Not a bad thing in itself, so long as that cold mechanical mind could be put to the purposes of intrigue and excitement, as it would at the peak of his career. The trouble then with his earliest efforts is that they have all that technical intricacy without that much needed focus on reaching the audience as entertainment.

His silent films in particular seem to lurch all over the place, and are proof that the term "experimental film" generally means a bad one. After all, if you know how to do it properly you don't need to experiment, do you? Downhill, unlike the films made immediately before and after, has less of the camera trickery that characterises Hitch's early work, the exceptions being a couple of mobile point of view shots in the Headmaster's office scene, and the rather extravagant finale, which believe me is nothing compared to the obtrusive bag of tricks Hitch employs in, say, Champagne (1928).

Instead, the director focuses far more on the expression and gesture of the actors and the cunning arrangement of shots to reveal what is going on. Much of this is technique that Hitch appropriated from screenwriter Eliot Stannard, who actually predates Eisenstein in theories of montage, and the various inserts of reactions and concurrent bits of business – like the crosscutting from the courting couple to Ivor Novello dealing with the young customers in the shop scene – seem to fit in with the theories Stannard set out in film articles in the 1910s. A more Hitchcockian manoeuvre on display here is the beginning of scenes with close-ups, with gradual pull-back-and-reveal shots to give context. Often the opening shot, focusing on a single character or an item like a cap with the word "honour" on it, serves almost like a chapter heading. Gradually the shots become wider, giving more context to the scene, often finishing with a hauntingly empty wide shot – one that in another director's work might introduce a sequence. In one scene Hitchcock playfully confounds our expectations several times over, by starting with Novello in a posh outfit, pulling back to reveal he is in fact a waiter, then pulling back again to reveal the restaurant is part of a stage set.

This more subtle approach by Hitchcock is very welcome, but the trouble is he seems a little over-confident in his own abilities. Downhill contains very few intertitles, but the action is not quite coherent enough to make up for them. The shop scene in particular is very confusing, and synopsis writers cannot even seem to agree whether Novello is being falsely accused of stealing or getting a woman pregnant. The latter is less obvious but makes much more sense. The focus on people and their actions is a bonus at least, and we get to see a bit more character from Ivor Novello as compared to his rather leaden personality in The Lodger, but the handsome chappy still cannot really act. And it's nothing but mugging and crazy stares from the rest of the cast, I'm afraid.

But perhaps I am missing the point. The incident in the shop could be regarded as an early example of the "MacGuffin" – an otherwise unimportant device which serves only to drive the plot forward – and as such its details are of no consequence. And certainly, this rather trite plot of a man disowned by his family for some social misdemeanour, who descends the slippery slope until he ends up becoming a gigolo for fat French women? is certainly one which could bear a bit of style over substance. And isn't it in some ways the essence of cinema to conjure up atmosphere or visual delight, with coherence and plot detail being of secondary concern? All this is true, and yet the purpose of a motion picture is to tell a story, whether it be the ostensible one of plot, or an emotional one at a more human, character-driven level, and this is something Downhill fails to provide.

World Of YouthReviewed byslokesVote: 4/10

A slapdash early effort by young director Alfred Hitchcock, "Downhill" a. k. a. "When Boys Leave Home," delivers moments of brilliance undone by an underbaked plot.

Young Roddy (Ivor Novello) is expelled from his boarding school when he is charged with a major infraction involving a woman at a local bake shop. No use appealing to his father, who stares at him with frightening disgust. Roddy makes his way alone in life, coming up against a pair of theatrical con artists before landing in a seedy music hall, providing dances for lonely women at 50 francs a whirl. It all gets to be too much for the frail boy.

Poor Roddy can't catch a break, even in cyberspace. A lot of reviewers, both here at and elsewhere, have at the fellow for one deathless line he delivers when his headmaster drops the hammer: "Can I - Won't I be able to play for the Old Boys, sir?" It's a line dripping with ingenuousness, but actually works better in context. Roddy is a true believer in the code of his school who runs up against a world that doesn't allow for second chances.

Based on an adaptation of a play Novello co-authored with Constance Collier under the pseudonym "David L'Estrange," "Downhill" pushes the action from one setpiece to another with little explanation or character development. Hitchcock seems far more enthusiastic about his set pieces and camera tricks than giving the viewer anything to hold onto. Even dialogue cards are kept at a minimum in this very non-verbal silent film.

The best sequence, a section called "The World Of Make-Believe," plunges Roddy into the harsh world of show biz, where conniving actress Julia (Isabel Jeans) and her significant other Archie (Ian Hunter) set up a suddenly cash-rich Roddy.

Watching Archie as Roddy pledges his love to Julia, smoking and drinking and looking frightfully bored as he awaits the chance to offer his casual blessing to their ersatz union, features terrific acting from all concerned. Hitchcock does well in this section by playing up the humor of the situation. But when it's over, there's no explanation or attempt at grounding things. What's this kid going to do about his new marriage? We just follow Roddy to his next stop on his downhill journey.

Hitchcock presents us with some arresting images. One favorite of mine shows a daytime view of Roddy's boarding school dissolving into a scene of London at night. Anyone curious at how England looked in the 1920s will enjoy these views for their travelogue value, anyway.

Novello is worthy, too, carrying the film as he must. He's too old for the part, but believably earnest even as he goes from bright student to all-around chump. A better film would give us more of a basis for this, but all we get is some eye fluttering from Novello to tell us of his deer-in-the-headlights state. It worked for Novello's female fan base at the time, but not for us.

Hitchcock too often works in this surface manner. He shrugs off any subtlety in pursuit of the big effect. The worst of these feature Roddy's father, Sir Thomas (Norman McKinnel), who bears a striking resemblance to Nosferatu and shows up late in the film in Roddy's wracked point-of-view in a slew of implausible guises.

Still, I was interested enough in Roddy's journey, if only as a matter of historical interest. Early on, we see he is the genuine article, a real believer in the world he inhabits, holding a cap emblazoned with the word "Honour." There's a scene, arrestingly similar to the deconstructive Lindsay Anderson film "if?", where Roddy and his friend meet that girl in the bake shop. No playing tiger in this one, Roddy just dances with the girl a little and tries to make a polite exit, but the damage is just as much as if he broke out the tommy guns like Mick and company in that later, anarchic classic.

"Downhill" is a coming-of-age movie that only really works as a look at Hitchcock's own coming of age – before he arrived.

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