Downward (1927)

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German title Down
Original title Downhill
Country of production Great Britain
original language English
Publishing year 1927
length 105 minutes
Age rating FSK o. A.
Director Alfred Hitchcock
script Eliot Stannard ,
Constance Collier ,
Ivor Novello
production Michael Balcon
for Gainsborough Pictures
camera Claude McDonnell
cut Lionel Rich

Downhill (Original title: Downhill ) is a British film drama directed by Alfred Hitchcock from 1927. It is based on several theater sketches by Constance Collier and Ivor Novello (under the pseudonym David L'Estrange ).


London boarder Roddy Berwick is wrongly accused of impregnating a girl. In fact, he covers a childhood friend based on an old oath of loyalty. He is expelled from the boarding school and expelled by his father. Roddy leaves his home and marries a dancer who drives him out of his fortune and starts an affair with another man. He becomes a gigolo at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. It goes further down with him until he ends up sick in a Marseille dump. Some sailors take him on a ship to London. When he got home, his innocence turns out and his father takes him back as a son.


With his fourth feature film, Hitchcock fulfilled his contractual obligation to Michael Balcon after he had already signed with British International Pictures . The film is a theatrical adaptation, which Hitchcock described in retrospect as a mistake, since the artistic possibilities in the cinematic conversion of stage plays into silent films offered little freedom. However, the film sold quite well in the wake of the brilliant previous film The Tenant and due to Hitchcock's increasing popularity.

The film is interesting because of the use of several typical Hitchcockian motifs: the innocent suspect, the transfer of guilt and playing with religious motifs, in this case that of the prodigal son . Hitchcock viewed this film mainly as a finger exercise, and so various stylistic elements recurring in his later work can be found in Downward .

The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Germany on July 31, 2015.


The English critic and Hitchcock biographer John Russell Taylor wrote in 1978: “When Downhill was made, no one in all of British films worked with such a cinematic imagination, no other told a film with this gripping and fascinating mastery of cinematic possibilities. Yes, you had the feeling that Hitch couldn't help it, not even on a subject that he didn't like at all. "

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