HALLOWEEN BLOGATHON 2010, HOUR 16
Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (the director's first thriller) had a UK release on February 14, 1927, and would hit American shores in June of the following year. This adaptation of the novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes revolves around a serial killer known as The Avenger, based on Jack the Ripper, stalking the streets of London. A new lodger (Ivor Novello) at a local boarding house owned by Marie Ault (previously of 1923's The Monkey's Paw) behaves strangely, and often leaves his room on dark and foggy nights, making him suspect in the eyes of Joe (Malcolm Keen), a police detective covering the case. The Lodger was adapted again in 1932 (also with Ivor Novello), 1944, 1953 (as Man in the Attic, with Jack Palance), and 2008.
Those looking for further circus fun may want to seek out the difficult-to-find 1916 mystery-thriller Hævnens nat (Blind Justice; Night of Revenge) from Haxan director Benjamin Christensen about a circus performer named Strong John who is falsely accused of murder and vows revenge against the woman who betrayed him, as well as the similarly-themed (and possible remake) 1917 film The Tell-Tale Step from director Burton George.
The Cat and the Canary hit the screens on September 9, 1927. It was written by Alfred A. Cohn and directed by Paul Leni, based on a stage play from John Willard that had opened in February 1922 and ran for a total of 148 performances. The movie revolves a group of would-be heirs who gather at the home of the deceased Cyrus West in hopes of claiming the inheritance, where a number of strange and deadly events occur. Blending comedy, mystery, horror and even twinges of expressionism, this movie was a huge success for Universal Pictures, so much so that it was remade five times.
For a more in-depth account of the film, written by a blogger more talented than I, click here.