Alfred Hitchcock directs the fizzy tale of a millionaire who pretends to lose his fortune to teach his wayward daughter a lesson.
Alfred Hitchcock’s second release of 1928 is an uncharacteristically slight comedy about a millionaire’s decision to put an end to his frivolous daughter’s engagement with an unsuitable suitor by feigning bankruptcy.
Not a favourite with its director, who thought it “probably the lowest ebb in my output”, Champagne nevertheless contains many flashes of Hitchcock brilliance, with witty shots through a champagne glass and a disturbing sequence in which the feckless heroine (Betty Balfour) imagines herself sexually assaulted by the man who (as it ultimately emerges) has been employed by her father to spy on her. The deftly observed voyeurism by this and other characters is another emblematic Hitchcock touch.
Betty Balfour was a successful British actress who appeared in many silent comedies, including the popular ‘Squibs’ series, in which featured as a Cockney flower girl, and The Vagabond Queen (1929) as a fake princess.
Cast & credits
- Betty, the girl Betty Balfour
- the boy Jean Bradin
- the man Ferdinand von Alten
- Mark, Betty's father Gordon Harker
- [impresario] Clifford Heatherley
- [club servant] Hannah Jones
- [maître d'hotel] Marcel Vibert
- [club guest on staircase] Claude Hulbert
- [the officer] Jack Trevor
- [girl] Sunday Wilshin
- [dancers] Balliol & Merton
- cast member Phyllis Konstam
- Presents British International Pictures
- Distributed by Wardour Films
- [Producer] John Maxwell
- Produced at Elstree Studios
- Scenario by Eliot Stannard
- Adaptated by Alfred Hitchcock
- From an Original Story by Walter C. Mycroft
- [Stills] Michael Powell
- Art Director Wilfred Arnold