Noe Valley Voice June 2013

A Haunting Silence That Delights

By Heather World

Nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent movies will play June 14 to 16 at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., starting a national tour that includes stops in New York and Los Angeles.

“The Hitchcock 9” have been newly restored by the British Film Institute, which is co-sponsoring the tour. The movies include the director’s first film, The Pleasure Garden, a tale of two chorus girls who inspire murderous passion, and the rarely seen Downhill, Easy Virtue, Champagne, and The Farmer’s Wife.

The familiar Hitchcock style can be seen in four of the films: Blackmail, The Ring, The Manxman, and The Lodger. The Lodger, which Hitchcock dubbed “the first true Hitchcock picture,” features the first cameo by the “Master of Suspense.” 

Hitchcock made his silent movies while living in Britain, his home country. He moved to the United States in 1939 and later became an American citizen.

The movies are part of the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival, but while the screen may be silent, the theater isn’t. The films will be accompanied by live music performed by the Colorado-based Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, British composer and pianist Stephen Horne, and other artists.

For more information about the Silent Film Festival, visit