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Young and Innocent
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Customer Reviews:

  • A Charming and Romantic British Mystery
    While rarely mentioned in the same breath with "The 39 Steps" or "The Lady Vanishes," this is my favorite film from Hitchcock's British film catalog. It has charm, a great story, lots of atmosphere, a fine romance, and best of all, the wonderful Nova Pilbeam. Based on a Josephine Tey novel, "A Schilling For Candles," this story of an innocent man wrongly accused of murder and the young girl who aids his search for proof that he did not commit the crime is a ton of fun.

    This is a top-notch British production from the period. There is good photography from Bernard Knowles and a nice score from Louis Levy to make this one of Hitchcock's most enjoyable outings. Nova Pilbeam was a lovely young British actress who had worked for the director in a smaller role three years earlier, in his first version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much." She sparkles here as a strong and independent young heroine who comes to believe in someone and risks everything to aid him.

    Derrick De Marney also shines as a young writer named Robert who happens upon the body of famous cinema star, Christine Clay (Pamela Carme), washed up on the beach. He had a passing acquaintance with her since she had purchased one of his stories. He is seen running from the scene to get help, and when it is discovered she was strangled with a belt from a coat he had stolen from him at a place called Tom's Hat, things don't look good for our hero.

    It looks even worse that she left 1,200 pounds to him in her will, and when his attorney appears to be a boob, Robert escapes in order to prove his innocence. He gets the reluctant help of the Chief Constaple's daughter, Erica Burgoyne (Nova Pilbeam), in escaping to an old mill for the night, taking the chance she will not turn him in to her father. There is a romantic attraction between the two, and the independent young Erica decides she must help him a little to avoid the gallows.

    When she comes to bring him food and drive him around to search for the man who stole the jacket which will prove his innocence, she and her little dog get in deeper and deeper. There finally comes a turning point when Erica throws caution to the wind and zealously helps Robert pursue the man with a twitch in his eye who murdered Christine Clay. It becomes apparent to both her father and the police that she is aiding him willingly and not under duress. Since they have already slipped up and aroused suspicions at a birthday party her aunt and uncle were thowing for her niece, they know they can not remain at large forever and it becomes a race with time to find the real killer.

    A long desired quality release of this film from a major studio has finally been realized. Interviews of Hitchcock by Bogdanovich and Truffaut accompany a still gallery and a restoration comparison. Commentary with Hitchcock authors Stephen Rebello and Bill Krohn are included as well. According to releases, it will also be close captioned and have both French and Spanish subtitles for those in need of them. Hitchcock creates a very nice atmosphere of an English coastal town in the 1930's and all his touches are in evidence even at this early juncture. This is one of the great Hitchcock films from his British period and stands with the best of them. Nova Pilbeam is terrific here and it is a real shame she did not get to make more films like this one. If you enjoyed "The 39 Steps" you will probably like this as well. It does not quite have the tension of that great film but has a little more romance and charm. A real winner!...more info
  • Great film, okay transfer
    When I review these Laserlite Hitchcock DVDs, I tend to put more empphasis on the film transfers rather than the film itself, mainly because every other film review available talks the plot to death. So I write my reviews with the assumption that the reader already knows the plot of the film.

    ...As far as the film goes, this is one of my personal favorite Hitchcock films. It's a terrific re-working of The 39 Steps about a man who is accused of a murder he didn't commit and must flee from the law and find the real culprit in order to prove himself innocent. It was a formula that would become a regular part of the Hitchcock canon for years to come.

    ...As far as the DVD goes, it's just okay. Once you get past the mediocre Tony Curtis intro, you get enjoy the crackles and pops, light-to-dark contrast jumps and cut-off lines of dialouge and jump-cuts resulting from missing frames that most any other home video edition of the film will provide to you. This isn't to say it's a terrible and unwatchable transfer. This is definately no "Murder" or "Skin Game," but it's also a disappointment when compared to Laserlite transfers of "Sabotage" and "Rich and Strange." The movie never at any point becomes unbearable from the transfer, but Laserlite has done better....Still, it's probably the best copy available so far on DVD, but I would ultimately recomend Criterion's Laserdisc, if you still have a laserdisc player, until Criterion reissues this on DVD.

    extra features include a trailer for a later Hitchcock film and a foregettable episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents that he did not direct. Laserlite cannot be bashed for this, as it is a better bonus than just nothing.

    4 1/2 stars to Hitchcock for an excellent film, 3 stars to Laserlight for trying hard, but not hitting the mark every time....more info

  • Early genius
    I saw this film on TV recently. It draws the viewer in right away with the dead body washing up on the beach and man who is wrongly accused. It has Hitchcock's trademark humor and suspense. It could have been more tightly edited in parts, but as I watched the ballroom scene near the end, all I could think was, Hitchcock is a genius. The camera scans the room and in a very restrained and patient way, zeros in on the killer as the characters try to do the same. There is also a little bit of Vertigo in the mine shaft scene....more info
  • Buy it.
    For the uninitiated, any film from the 30s, especially a British film, would be a bit of a shock.

    But if you like Hitchcock, or you were ever in love as a teenager, you'll want to own this film. Nova Pilbeam (a wonderful young lady who four years previous had played a little kid in Hitchcock's first version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much") plays a teenager who rightly believes that a young man is innocent of murder - which makes her an accomplice on the run from her beloved father, the police chief. The movie is mostly Nova trying to help him prove his innocence - a plot that Hitchcock used over and over again for 50 years, yet somehow we never tire of it.

    I've seen all of Hitchcock's films. Every one of them is worth watching multiple times. This may be one of is top five (I may be wrong - maybe it's one of the top ten).

    Buy it immediately. It will never look better than this; if it doesn't strike you to the core, then you're probably lifeless....more info
  • Young and Innocent
    One of Hitchock's last pictures in England, and has wonderful touches of the Master. The dramatic-laden birthday party (not to mention Erica's lovingly, bemused father), the ground sinking of Erica and her doggie; and especially after the comedy of Edward Rigby's tight shoes, etc., the confusion, then the long pan shot of the d-d-d-d-drummer. Case solved after a wonderful between the wars view of good auld England. All together a wonderfully satisfying film, for running when, you, especially, can't sleep....more info
  • A film for Hitchcock fans
    Young and Innocent is not an especially well known Hitchcock film and to an extent this is justified. When one compares it with his great British films of the thirties, such as The Thirty-Nine Steps or The Lady Vanishes, it seems a minor work. There is no real sense that the characters in Young and Innocent are in genuine danger and thus the chase story lacks tension. The relationship between the two leads lacks the spark that is so often found in Hitchcock films. This is partly because Derrick De Marney's performance remains stage-bound and Nova Pilbeam was considered too young to engage in sexy dialogue. Thus the film lacks the amusing and slightly risqu¨¦ banter which might have been present if the lead actress was, for example, Madeleine Carroll. The story is similar to The Thirty-Nine Steps, but Pilbeam is far too ready to go on the run with De Marney. I'm not suggesting that Hitchcock should have used handcuffs again, but he really needed to provide some motivation for a policeman's daughter going off with a possible murderer other than a vague belief in his innocence.

    While this film is not first-rate Hitchcock it has some very fine scenes. I particularly liked the scene where a group of policemen hitch a ride with a farmer transporting pigs, for it shows Hitchcock's quite daring humour, as `pigs' is impolite British slang for policemen.

    The print used for the Laserlight DVD is good. I noticed one slight cut where a swear word had been censored, but this probably occurred in the thirties. Otherwise the print seems complete and is clear with only minor damage. The dialogue is at times a little indistinct but can almost always be followed.

    The extra features on this DVD are nothing special. The best thing about the Cheney Vase is Hitchcock's mocking of the sponsors in his introduction. The story itself is quite dull....more info

  • Better Than "The 39 Steps"
    You know its a good movie when the use of blackface (i am african american by the way) actually works and doesn't hurt the film. Quite exciting and humorous throughout. I found the film better than "The 39 Steps" because I never saw the ending coming. It is quite original. Both of the leads are also very appealing as are the rest of the supporting cast. Standout scenes are the action sequence at the mine and the scene at the nightclub....more info
  • Sadly Underrated!
    This gem isn't the most celebrated movie of Hitch's but it is really quite enjoyable. Granted the opening scene is radically overacted but that only lasts for a few short seconds.

    Hitchcock does some rather inteesting things in this movie. For instance, there's a scene where a innocent man finds the body and with the creative use of montage it has a really erie glow to it. He zooms in on a flock of gulls and it really is something to see.

    After he finds the body,he goes for help. Unfortunatly for him, it looks as if he's running away.

    Eventually he and the cheif constipols's daughter go off looking for the real killer with the police after them.

    Watch this movie- It's worth it just for the endng scene! It's great!!!...more info

    I admit to having not seen the beginning of this movie (although I intend to rent it soon). I caught it on tv at some late hour,and although i was not impressed immediately I soon found myself intrigued by the light humor and mystery of the film. I had the advantage of not knowing it was Hitchkock when I was watching it,and therefore did not expect great suspense. Although a compelling mystery,the film is not like many of Hitchkocks films,as it's real strength is in the humor and the romance. Although,not a deep story the charachters are extremely likeable and the dialogue enchanting. It is a really enjoyable movie.

    I know you don't care,but as i was watching it I thought I spotted Hitchcock,but couldn't belive it was his film...I guess I was right....more info

  • Pretty good Hitchcock and I'm glad I saw it
    YOUNG AND INNOCENT was an interesting movie where a writer is accused of murder and attempts sereral daring escapes to find the real murderer and prove his innocence. This movie sort of reminded me of one that I saw but didn't review, MURDER.

    As the stroy reaches the ending, it gets really "moody", and then the real murderer is uncovered in a unique way, so I think you should watch this and see what happens....more info

  • Perhaps Hitchcock's best film from the '30s
    "Young and Innocent" is not one of Hitchcock's best-known films, and this is a shame. It is one of his most entertaining films from the 30s, featuring suspenseful situations, charming characters portrayed by excellent actors, snappy, witty dialogue, and fabulous camera work. This under-appreciated film deserves more viewers!

    The story revolves around a destitute writer who is accused of murdering a truly bitchy movie star. Locating his missing raincoat seems to be the key to proving his innocence and finding the real killer, but between an incompetant attorney and policemen wanting a quick end to the case, he seems destined to hang. But that is until he slips from the courthouse during a moment of confusion. He is joined in his mad dash for evidence by the domestic, yet-tomboyish and strong-willed daughter of the local chief of police. Will the unlikely pair manage to clear our hero's name before he is recaptured by the police?

    This film shares a number of similar elements with the better-known "The 39 Steps." Unlike that film, in which the modern viewer is able to see the end coming about twenty minutes before it arrives, however, "Young and Innocent" keeps the viewer on the edge of his seat up to the very end. The climactic nightclub scene is particularly well-done and thrilling....more info

  • Young and Innocent
    One of Hitchock's last pictures in England, and has wonderful touches of the Master. The dramatic-laden birthday party (not to mention Erica's lovingly, bemused father), the ground sinking of Erica and her doggie; and especially after the comedy of Edward Rigby's tight shoes, etc., the confusion, then the long pan shot of the d-d-d-d-drummer. Case solved after a wonderful between the wars view of good auld England. All together a wonderfully satisfying film, for running when, you, especially, can't sleep....more info