- Ax 2013
Young and Innocent
Edward Black for Gaumont British
directed by Alfred Hitchcock
starring Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Percy Marmont, Edward Rigby, Mary Clare, John Longden, George Curzon, Basil Radford, Pamela Carme, George Merritt, J.H.Roberts, Jerry Verno, H.F.Maltby, John Miller, Bill Shine, Torin Thatcher, Clive Baxter, Mike Johnson, Frank Atkinson, Gerry Fitzgerald, Syd Crossley, Richard George, Jack Vyvian, Anna Konstam, Peggy Simspon, Beatrice Varley
screenplay by Charles Bennett, Edwin Greenwood, Anthony Armstrong, dialogue by Gerald Savory, based on the novel A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey, music by Jack Beaver, cinematography by Bernard Knowles
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Young and Innocent, Blackmail, Juno and the Paycock, Rich and Strange, The Ring, The Lodger, Secret Agent, The Lady Vanishes, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, Champagne, Murder!
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Filmstar Christine Clay (Pamela Carme) is found murdered on the beach,
strangled with the belt of a raincoat. Robert (Derrick De Marney), an
acquaintance of hers, finds the body - but when he's seen running away to
get help, everybody just supposes he's running away, and thus he soon
becomes the prime suspect. When questioned about the murder weapon, a
raincoat belt, he can only claim that his raincoat has been stolen, so
before you know it, he is to be formally charged ... but somehow he
manages to get away, and with Erica (Nova Pilbeam), the chief constable's
(Percy Marmont) daughter no less, who not only believes his claims to be
innocent, she also soon enough falls in love with him and helps him track
down his raincoat.
After a long search, the raincoat is found on a bum,
Old Will (Edward Rigby), who insists though the coat was given to him by a
guy with twitching eyes. The bigger problem though is that the raincoat's
belt is indeed missing, and was so when Will received it. But Robert finds
a clue leading to the Grand Hotel - and since he himself has to hide from
the police, it's up to Erica and Old Will to go to the hotel and find the
twiotching man, whom they believe to be a guest. But in the dining room
with people dancing and everything, it seems next to impossible to find a
twitching man - though the very man is right in the room, the band's
drummer, in black-face no less, and he has no problem identifying Old
Will, and thus gets more and more nervous by the minute.
police move in on Erica and Will - whom they know to be his accomplices -,
Robert gives himself up, believing it to be the only right thing to do ...
when the band's drummer faints out of stress. Erica is there immediately
to give first aide - when she notices his twitch, and when the black
makeup is washed off, Old Will can identify him as the man who has given
him Robert's raincoat and therefore as the murderer - and thus Robert is
cleared of any and all suspicion and gets the girl with even her
True, there are several gaping holes in Young
and Innocent's plot - like why does giving away Robert's raincoat
prove that the man with the twitch is the murderer and why did he leave
the clue leading to the Grand Hotel, a book of matches, in the coat that
isn't even his -, but these are aqctually only secondary to a light-footed
and well-paced direction, several suspense setpieces - from a birthday
party Robert and Erica desperately try to get away from to the finale in
the Grand Hotel - and just the right dose of irony to make the somewhat
feeble story work perfectly as a film.
Maybe not Hitchcock's best, but