Alfred Hitchcock - Champagne (1928) VHSRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
A spoilt rich girl leads a life of luxury on the profits from her father's champagne business. To bring her back down to earth he tells her that all the money has been lost so she goes to seek her fortune.
*Not great quality but worth getting for history and entertainment sake*
Betty Balfour ... Betty
Gordon Harker ... Mark, Betty's Father
Jean Bradin ... The Boy
Ferdinand von Alten ... The Man (as Theo von Alten)
For those of you used to Hitchcock mysteries, whodunits and what nots, this VERY early work will come as a big surprise. But it's not surprise that this is quite the feast for the eyes, and quite amazing to watch for it's technical details.
The plot is simple, but yet detailed. A rich socialite daughter elopes with the man she wants to marry (with quite an amazing entrance with the female character), they flee to Paris, where she finds out her rich daddy is rich no more, and suddenly, she must face the glamourous 1920's world from a very different perspective..
Hitchcock fills the screen with a lot of details in this one, and one quite marvels at all the amazing camerawork going on. The special effects and finally the COSTUMES (!) are quite incredible as well. A cool movie!
One of Alfred Hitchcock's silent-film comedies, "Champagne" is good light, bubbly entertainment, much as the title might suggest. It is very interesting to see the future Master of Suspense at work with such different material, and it's a good little film in its own right.
The story-line is very simple: a spoiled rich girl defies her powerful father to meet her boyfriend, and her father, convinced that the boyfriend is only a fortune hunter, resorts to a variety of tactics to try to break off the relationship. Meanwhile, everywhere the girl goes, the same mysterious stranger seems to pop up.
It's not much of a plot, but Hitchcock does some nice things with it. The visuals make the movie fun to watch - attractive sets, good sight gags, interesting detail. As the rich daughter, Betty Balfour is charming and is especially good in a couple of scenes where her character has to perform some unfamiliar tasks. Gordon Harker is, as always, quite funny as the father. His timing works nicely with Hitchcock's pacing.
Hitchcock's dry British wit made most of his silent comedies very pleasurable to watch. If you admire Hitchcock, or if you enjoy silent films, treat yourself to some "Champagne".
There's not much to this film of Hitch's, a bit like champagne itself but not so mirth-inducing. Maybe you already know it but he went on make better films than this – many of 'em in fact, but notwithstanding that I still find this one an enjoyable watch.
Spoilt little rich girl Betty Balfour is taught a salutary if convoluted lesson by her Wall Street father ably played by Gordon Harker on how to behave as befits the daughter of a millionaire. In this exercise he sorts out the problem of the genuineness of Betty's suitor too. Some of the sets were as flimsy as the plot (almost diaphanous!) but would have made do for the audience that would only see it the once, and some of the photography and ideas were excellent with some, like the view through the bottom of the glass re-used by Hitch years later. Gurning through a wide range of emotions Betty Balfour kept on Bouncing Back in the same manner as Squibs, her famous role, whilst Gordon Harker excelled at playing this type of role before he started parodying himself in the '30's and playing up his down to Earth voice and mannerisms. And even Claude Hulbert made a 3 second appearance on the club stairs in one of his first film roles. If nothing else, it's worth a watch for the sinister Hitchcockian twist at the very end.
All told, not a great but an interesting film with a pleasant atmosphere, but because there's so few extant it's definitely a satisfying British silent film.
Although the film shows plenty of evidence of being made by the Master, most viewers will probably find it light compared to the 'more substantial' 'serious' films. But Hitchcock's metier is cinema, not suspense, and Champagne contains some choice examples of how Hitch thought cinematically in a way that no other director has done. A case in point is the magnificent visual joke towards the end of the film, when our heroes are aboard an ocean liner. From time to time they are bothered by a drunk who staggers into them and other passengers. However, before long, the ship hits a storm and sways around like a cork, causing everyone to stagger from wall to wall... except the drunk... On a more profound thematic level, this is one of the earliest Hitchcockian essays on the necessity of lying in one's bed if one has made it (cf The Birds). Incidentally, it's just occurred to me how much the Betty Balfour character in this prefaces those of Grace Kelly in Rear Window and Melanie Daniels in The Birds.