The Girl Was Young


Action / Crime / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 63%
IMDb Rating 7 10 7199


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January 21, 2015 at 11:51 AM


Alfred Hitchcock as Photographer Outside Courthouse
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700.10 MB
24.000 fps
1hr 20 min
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24.000 fps
1hr 20 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ofpsmith 9 / 10

Countryside Fugitive.

A common motif in many Alfred Hitchcock films is that an ordinary innocent man is accused of a murder and thus goes on the run to reveal the real murderer. The Girl was Young is no different. Robert Tisdall (Derrick De Marney) is accused of murder after the body of actress Christine Clay (Pamela Carme) washes up on the shore. He is arrested and an incompetent lawyer is his defense. He manages to escape the courthouse and inadvertently runs away into the countryside with the police chief's daughter Erica Burgoyne (Nova Pilbeam), who is not so easily convinced by his pleas of innocence. Although it's formulaic that doesn't make the story any less enjoyable. Overall, it's a very fun film and I recommend it to any Hitchcock fans who haven't already seen it.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 10 / 10

Another must-see for Hitchcock fans!

Producer: Edward Black. A Gaumont British Production, made at Pinewood Studios, England. Copyright 30 January 1938 by Gaumont British Picture Corp. of America. New York opening at the Criterion: 10 February 1938. U.S. release: 17 February 1938. U.K. release (through General Film Distributors): December 1937. Australian release (through G-B-D): December 1937. Running times: 84 minutes (U.K. and Australia); 70 minutes (USA). U.S. release title: The GIRL WAS YOUNG.

COMMENT: A dazzling inventive and seductively entertaining thriller, outstandingly exciting in its direction from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Of course it is in the action scenes that Hitch really comes into his own: the nimbly edited escape from the court- house in which de Marney amusingly finds himself a spectator at his own trial; the fight at Tom's Hat and the flight from the old mill; the amazingly effective juxtaposition of real people with skilfully crafted models and miniatures in the escape from the doss-house episode; the hair-raising plunge through the mine shaft; all capped by that enormous crane shot through the Grand Hotel, from the foyer through the crowded ball-room to a shattering close-up of the killer's twitching eyes.

Not that Hitchcock is a slacker in the movie's less sensational sequences. There is a delicious sense of irony, both in the writing and the visuals, that runs through the entire movie. A captivating performance from Nova Pilbeam helps enormously too. Naturally she receives deft assistance from a fine roster of character players, led by Edward Rigby's superannuated tramp and J.H. Roberts' engagingly muddle-sighted solicitor.

A bouncy music score, fine photography and eye-catching art direction further add to the total enjoyment of a very cleverly scripted, agreeably twisting and turning yarn.

MY SECOND VIEWING: The work of no less than six writers has removed this movie a long way from Josephine Tey's "A Shilling for Six Candles". In fact it now hardly resembles the novel at all. Never mind, the result is a wonderfully taut and suspenseful, yet humorous and charmingly romantic thriller in which the hero's efforts to extricate himself from a murder rap get not only progressively more complicated and deeper into dutch, but take in a number of excitingly hairs- breadth escapes as well.

True, the hero is perhaps a little wet and not at all your average macho type, but I found this to be a most agreeable novelty. Also out of the rut are some great character cameos including Edward Rigby as an ingratiatingly seedy old china-mender, Torin Thatcher as a brusquely suspicious doss-house keeper, J.H. Roberts as a not-so- soothingly "eagle"-eyed solicitor and of course the guy who plays the real murderer.

Heroine Nova Pilbeam figures as a real charmer, although for a while there it looks like she's going to spend most of the action in the one costume. Fortunately she is allowed a couple of changes in the final reels. Hitchcock's mastery of staging suspense is always in evidence, and here he draws upon the expertise of a fine technical crew including art director Alfred Junge (I love his deserted water- mill), lighting cameraman Bernard Knowles (who doesn't put so much as a focus inch wrong in the climactic, justly celebrated crane shot), and film editor Charles Frend (whose scissoring throughout is a model of crispy smooth silkiness). A foot-tapping, jazzy music score too. In all, essential viewing for Hitchcock fans and marvelously enjoyable entertainment for cinema fans in general.

Reviewed by robert-temple-1 9 / 10

One of Hitchcock's excellent early films

This film (also sometimes entitled THE GIRL WAS YOUNG) must have been made when Hitchcock himself was young and innocent. I say that only half in jest. His British films of the 1930s were so much more authentic and interesting than much of his later Hollywood work such as REAR WINDOW (1954, see my review) and the second version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956, see my review), both of which were really terrible travesties and simply appallingly bad. Of course, when Hitchcock was on form in Hollywood, he could certainly make masterpieces such as VERTIGO (1958) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959, to be reviewed). But Hitchcock's early films other than the disappointing NUMBER SEVENTEEN (1932, see my review) can be especially exciting and worthwhile for viewers who do not mind black and white and are not disoriented by period films. (I know some people who only watch colour and never anything old.) Or perhaps another way to put it is to say that of the 69 films directed by Hitchcock, some were excellent and others were duds, at all periods. Maybe we expect too much of him, wishing him always to be in top form. This film stars the wonderful young actress Nova Pilbeam, who had appeared in Hitchcock's first version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934, see my review). She retired from films in 1951, which is such a shame, considering that she lived to be 95. Here she truly shines, and has such wonderful and subtle scenes with her leading man, Derrick de Marney, who is so charming and witty and has such excellent chemistry with Pilbeam. The superb character actor Edward Rigby does an excellent job of playing the tramp Old Will in this film. He also appeared with Pilbeam in GREEN FINGERS (1947) and THE THREE WEIRD SISTERS (1948) In the latter, scary Mary Clare, who here plays Pilbeam's aunt, also appeared. The story concerns the body of a woman being washed up on a British beach, apparently in Cornwall. But it turns out that she was strangled before entering the water, and did not drown. In fact, she was strangled with the belt of a cloth raincoat, a belt (but not the coat) which is found washed up beside her. So whodunit? At the beginning of the film we see the woman, Christine, having a quarrel with her husband, who has a terrible nervous tick which leads him to blink both of his eyes continuously. Later in the film, in a search for the murderer, the only way to identify him is because of his nervous facial twitching. This is similar to the situation in THE 39 STEPS (1935), where the villain can only be identified by the fact that he is missing half of one finger. In fact, the two films are often compared generally as well. Hitchcock was evidently trilled at the mystery of the desperate pursuit small clues, and they certainly add to the dramatic tension. There are many Hitchcockian touches throughout this film, not least that the tension is often relieved by humour, but also with such standard Hitchcock scenes as being trapped by the police in a public event (here a dance at the Grand Hotel) and having everyone stare at you accusingly (here at the beach when everyone stares menacingly at de Marney when they think he is the murderer). Another favourite Hitchcock theme explored here is the race against time of a man to prove he is innocent. Also, Derrick de Marney at first is threatened with being reported to the police by Nova Pilbeam, just as Robert Donat was by Madeleine Caroll in THE 39 STEPS. But in both cases, the accused man's innocence becomes clear to the women, and they end up helping him. This film has charm, vivacity, and tension aplenty.

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