HitchcOctober Day 10: The Pleasure Garden

See, told you I’d be getting to The Pleasure Garden soon (though when I wrote that yesterday I had no intention of it being quite so soon, I just ran out of time to watch anything longer than an hour. All praise YouTube!).

Patsy (Virginia Valli) is a chorus line girl at a theatre known as The Pleasure Garden, which is run by Mr. Hamilton (Georg H. Schnell). One day a new girl, Jill (Carmelita Geraghty), arrives, but she’s had her introductory letter stolen along with all her money, so Patsy offers her a place to stay for the night. The next day, after Patsy puts in a good word and Jill haggles with Hamilton, Jill is offered a shot at dancing and, despite never having danced professionally before, she secures herself a place not just as one of the backing dancers, but as a starring attraction. Jill stays with Patsy in her small flat (even sharing a bed, which they do on their first night together as perfect strangers, it was a different time back then), and when Jill’s fiancĂ© Hugh (John Stuart) visits, Patsy is soon set up with his colleague Levett (Miles Mander). Hugh has to go abroad on business for two years, and requests Patsy prevent Jill from going off the rails, but Jill’s newfound fame and fortune soon go to her head, leading her down a dark path. Meanwhile, Patsy and Levett marry, with the intention of waiting for one another and being together once he is back from his similar work trip.6158
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HitchcOctober Day 3: Number Seventeen

When a man chases his windblown hat into the courtyard of a creepy looking house, he goes inside to investigate. There he finds all manner of odd occurrences, beginning with a corpse on the landing, a strange man attending to the deceased, and a woman falling through the roof. When even more unusual people begin showing up, it’s clear something out of the ordinary is going on.

As with most of Hitchcock’s early films, I’d heard nothing about this film prior to watching it, so had very little to expect upon the viewing. As such I was pleasantly surprised to discover this relatively unknown gem, full of surprises, quirky characters and unusual occurrences. Unfortunately, the twisty nature of the plot, which sees you never further than a couple of minutes from the next revelation, character introduction or the revealing of someone turning out to not be whom they originally appeared, makes it relatively difficult to discuss without giving away any spoilers, seeing as there are so many to be given away! Considering the film clocks in at just a few minutes over an hour, that’s some impressive script work. It does render the plot a trifle confusing at times, but I got through it having largely understood everything that was going on, and without thinking a second viewing was required. Continue reading