The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)
When a landlady (Marie Ault) and her husband (Arthur Chesney) take in a new lodger (Ivor Novello), they’re overjoyed: he’s quiet, humble and pays a month’s rent in advance. But his mysterious and suspicious behavior soon has them wondering if he’s the killer terrorizing local blond girls. It’d be hard not to wonder, when you’ve got a killer wandering about. Their daughter, Daisy (June Tripp), is far less concerned, her attraction to the lodger obvious. But her police-detective boyfriend (Malcolm Keen), in a pique of jealousy, seeks to uncover the lodger’s true identity.
Director Alfred Hitchcock, having just spent some time studying film in Berlin, filled the film with spots of very German expressionism — short scenes, unusual camera angles and dramatic, suspenseful lighting. But it worked out: his first thriller, The Lodger made his reputation as a name director. Upon its release, the trade journal Bioscope wrote: “It is possible that this film is the finest British production ever made.” And now you have the opportunity to enjoy Hitch’s first big silent scares as they were meant to be seen: with live accompaniment! Steven Ball, Tampa Theatre’s organist extraordinaire, will score the film live on our Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. You’ve never experienced the frightful suspense of The Lodger quite so authentically as this!