‘The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog’ Criterion Summary
With his third feature film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, Alfred Hitchcock took a major step toward greatness and made what he would come to consider his true directorial debut. This haunting silent thriller tells the tale of a mysterious young man (matinee idol Ivor Novello) who takes up residence at a London boardinghouse just as a killer known as the Avenger descends upon the city, preying on blonde women. The film is animated by the palpable energy of a young stylist at play, decisively establishing the director’s formal and thematic obsessions. In this release, The Lodger is accompanied by Downhill, another silent from 1927 that explores Hitchcock’s “wrong man” trope, also headlined by Novello—making for a double feature that reveals the master of the macabre as he was just coming into his own.
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog was restored by the BFI National Archive. Principal restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation, and Simon W. Hessel. Additional funding provided by the British Board of Film Classification, Deluxe 142, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, and Ian and Beth Mill. New score commissioned by Network Releasing in partnership with the BFI.
- 2K digital restoration, with a new score by composer Neil Brand, performed by the Orchestra of Saint Paul’s and presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
- Downhill, another 1927 feature directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ivor Novello, in a 2K digital restoration and with a new piano score by Brand
- New interview with film scholar William Rothman on Hitchcock’s visual signatures
- New video essay by art historian Steven Jacobs about Hitchcock’s use of architecture
- Excerpts from audio interviews with Hitchcock by filmmakers François Truffaut (1962) and Peter Bogdanovich (1963 and 1972)
- Radio adaptation of The Lodger from 1940, directed by Hitchcock
- New interview with Brand on composing for silent film
- PLUS: Essays on The Lodger and Downhill by critic Philip Kemp
New cover by Geoff Grandfield