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Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most famous film directors of all time, but his first ten silent films—nine of which survive—are little known compared to his later features. Made from 1925 to 1929, the films are among the greatest achievements of British silent cinema. They can also be seen as blueprints for the rest of Hitch’s body of work, containing many of the motifs and obsessions we have come to recognize as Hitchcockian.

Hitchcock’s development as a filmmaker in the era of silent cinema is crucial to an understanding of his filmmaking style. He was hailed as a genius very early on, and audiences and critics alike were captivated by his daring and powerful mixture of European editing styles, dramatic composition, and humor-laced high drama. Anyone who has been thrilled by Hitchcock’s Hollywood classics such as Vertigo, The Birds, or Psycho will recognize elements of the director’s touch in these earliest works.

The British Film Institute’s restoration of The Hitchcock 9 is the largest restoration project the BFI has ever undertaken and is only possible with the help of new digital technology. Thanks to the BFI’s efforts these films are being made available to venues around the world, including the Wexner Center. We’re complementing the screenings of most films with live musical accompaniment and also hosting a related film studies lecture.

The Hitchcock 9 is a joint venture of the BFI, Rialto Pictures/STUDIOCANAL, and Park Circus/ITV.


Film Studies Lecture
Tania Modleski: Representations of Women in Hitchcock’s Blackmail
Thu, Oct 10 | 4 PM

Tania Modleski, Florence R. Scott Professor of English at the University of Southern California and author of The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (1988), offers her thoughts on one of films in The Hitchcock 9. Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Film Studies Program.

Blackmail (1929)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Thu, Oct 10 | 7 PM
Sat, Oct 12 | 7 PM

Made in 1929 during the transition to the sound era, Blackmail is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s. The story follows a young woman whose flirtation with a young artist suddenly takes a terribly wrong turn. The great London locations include the British Museum and Lyons Tea House at Piccadilly Circus. (75 mins., 35mm)

The Lodger (1926)
Fri, Oct 11 | 7 PM
Sat, Oct 12 | 4 PM

Described by Hitch himself as “the first true Hitchcock movie,” this masterful thriller is set in a fog-bound London terrorized by a Jack-the-Ripper-style murderer known only as The Avenger. With Ivor Novello. (90 mins., DCP)

Downhill (1927)
Tue, Oct 15 | 7 pm

One of Hitchcock’s darkest early films, Downhill chronicles the fall from grace of a schoolboy who is expelled for getting a girl pregnant and subsequently disowned by his father. (105 mins., DCP)

The Ring (1927)
Live musical accompaniment by Larry Marotta
Thu, Oct 17 | 7 pm

Featuring Hitchcock’s one and only original screenplay, The Ring is set in the world of boxing. At the heart of the story is a love triangle involving a boxer, his wife, and his new sparring partner. (108 mins., DCP)

The Manxman (1929)
Live musical accompaniment by Larry Marotta
Thu, Oct 17 | 9:10 pm

Set in a remote Isle of Man fishing community, The Manxman follows two boyhood friends who take quite different paths in life. One becomes a fisherman, the other a lawyer. Yet both fall in love with the same woman. (100 mins., DCP)

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)
Live musical accompaniment by Sue Harshe
Wed, Oct 23 | 7 pm

The charming comedy The Farmer’s Wife focuses on a widowed landowner. With the help of his housekeeper, he draws up a list of all of the eligible women in the neighborhood and begins to woo each in turn—with disastrous results. (107 mins., DCP)

Champagne (1928)
Live musical accompaniment by Sue Harshe
Wed, Oct 23 | 9:10 pm

The romantic comedy Champagne revolves around a millionaire’s decision to teach his frivolous “flapper” daughter a lesson by feigning bankruptcy. (105 mins., DCP)

The Pleasure Garden (1926)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Fri, Oct 25 | 7 pm

The Pleasure Garden, Hitchcock’s first film as a director, depicts the messy love lives of two chorus girls. Their romances take them out of the music hall to exotic locations, including a trip to Italy. (90 mins., 35mm)

Easy Virtue (1927)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Fri, Oct 25 | 8:45 pm

Adapted from a Noel Coward play, Easy Virtue portrays a woman falsely accused of infidelity by her drunkard husband. The story reveals the corrosive effects of being judged guilty by society. (70 mins., 35mm)



Rohauer Collection Foundation



American Airlines



Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio Arts Council



The Hitchcock 9