Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Skin Game (1931)

Before there was Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) , a young Alfred Hitchcock was developing his distinctive style of filmmaking.  The Skin Game is not a horror film, but I would classify it as a thriller.  As such, it's a nice little story about people behaving badly and trying to outwit one another.  
For those unfamiliar with the term, a "skin game" is a rigged gambling game, a swindle.  The plot centers on feuding families and land development which is a story that has been played out in every generation.  The acting style is a bit outdated for modern audiences, with overly annunciated speech at times, but I still found it to be an enjoyable film.  It is well acted and the script has a few nice twists and turns.  Furthermore, the length of the film is perfect for the material it presents.  
However, the star of this show is watching Hitchcock as a young filmmaker.  You can definitely see flashes of what he would become and I found myself appreciating his camera effects and scene composition.  Hitchcock also loved his ladies and he always films his actresses with great care.  They always look fabulous!
This Skin Game does not reach the heights of such classic 1931 films as Frankenstein and Dracula, but it does give us a taste of a director who would change the face of cinema forever.  A must see for Hitchcock fans.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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