After years of working in silent films, Hitchcock's first successful film was the thriller “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927).
This film is about the search for a serial killer murdering young blond women in London. It was in this film that Hitchcock used a special effect he is now famous for. In order to enhance the sound and effect of the lodger walking back and forth in his room on an upper floor, Hitchcock had a glass floor built and filmed from underneath, Ivor Novello walking back and forth while the landlady listens to him in fear.
Hitchcock was fortunate to have Novello as his leading man. . Novello was a well-known matinee idol who was sure to bring in audiences. But, Hitchcock wanted the lodger (Novello) to be guilty and the beloved matinee idol and his handlers objected. (Note: Hitchcock had the same problem years later with Cary Grant in Suspicion).
The Lodger was both a critical and a box-office success in the UK. Hitchcock later told Truffaut that the film had been influenced by the Expressionist techniques then popular in Germany and to which Hitchcock had been exposed when he was working on the two silent films there. Hitchcock said: “In truth, you might almost say that The Lodger was my first picture.” It was in this film that Hitchcock made his soon to be iconic appearance in one of his own films. In need of an extra, he walked on and was filmed sitting in a newsroom.
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