The Manxman

Two men fall in love with the same woman in Alfred Hitchcock’s melodrama, set on the Isle of Man (though filmed in Cornwall).

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Introduction

“Hitch makes the most of his locations... while the frequent use of shots taken through windows anticipates the interest in voyeurism in his later work.”
Geoff Andrew, Time Out Film Guide

The Manxman is one of the best and most mature works of Hitchcock’s early career. Adapted from a novel by Sir Hall Caine, a once celebrated author who specialised in stories set on the Isle of Man, the film was partially, and beautifully, shot on location, albeit in Cornwall. Set in a small fishing community, two boyhood friends take markedly differing paths in adulthood, but still manage to fall in love with the same woman. Tragedy inevitably ensues.

Although Hitchcock himself was not happy with the film, it was a commercial success and received critical acclaim. Thematic anticipations of the director’s later work abound, from Gregory Peck’s tormented-in-love barrister in The Paradine Case (1947) to Kim Novak’s would-be suicide in Vertigo (1958).

Anny Ondra starred in Hitchcock’s next film, Blackmail (1929), Britain’s first ‘talkie’, although her strong Polish accent led to her character’s voice being provided by another actress.

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