Independent Films, Film Profiles
Downhill (released in the U.S. as When Boys Leave Home) is a 1927 silent film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the play Down Hill. It is Hitchcock's fourth film.Roddy Berwich (Ivor Novello), born into a rich family, he is the School Captain, and head of the "Old Boys" Rugby team. He makes a "pact" of loyalty with his best friend Tim Wakeley (Robin Irvine). Roddy begins a downhill spiral after being falsely accused of impregnating a waitress (Daisy Johnson), who turns vindictive after Roddy spurns her amorous advances. Roddy accepts the blame, to protect the real father, Tim, who desperately needs to stay in school to receive his Oxford scholarship.Roddy is expelled from school and leaves home after being disowned by his father (Norman McKinnel) who believes him guilty of the false accusation. (The Internet Movie Database incorrectly states that Robby accepts the blame for a theft).Roddy finds some work as an actor in a theatre. He marries the leading actress Julia (Isabel Jeans) after inheriting £30,000. The unfaithful Julia secretly continues an affair with her leading man (Ian Hunter) and discards Roddy after his inheritance is exhausted. He becomes a gigolo in a Paris music hall but soon quits over self loathing at romancing women for money.Roddy ends up alone and delirious in a shabby room in Marseilles. Some sailors take pity on him and ship him back home. Robby's father has learned the truth about the waitress's false accusation during his son's absence and joyfully welcomes him back. Robby resumes his previous life.
Year of Production: 1927
Length: 80 min., 74 min.
Country: United Kingdom
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Michael Balcon, C. M. Woolf
- Ivor Novello, Robin Irvine, Isabel Jeans, Ian Hunter