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Young and Innocent [DVD]

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Young and Innocent [DVD] + Sabotage [DVD] + Foreign Correspondent [DVD] [1940]
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Product details

  • Actors: Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Percy Marmont, Mary Clare, Edward Rigby
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: Edward Black
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Aug 2008
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C5G5I8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,768 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Hitchcock-directed comedy thriller. When a young woman is found strangled on the seashore, Robert Tisdall (Derrick De Marney) is quickly identified as the chief suspect in the case. The young man protests his innocence, but it seems that only Erica Burgoyne (Nova Pilbeam), the eighteen-year-old daughter of the local police constable, is prepared to believe him. Together, the unlikely duo set out to find the real killer. An early blueprint for such Hitchcock classics as 'To Catch a Thief' and 'North by Northwest'.


Among Alfred Hitchcock's pre-Hollywood movies, 1938's Young and Innocent is a most unfairly overlooked classic. It's full of themes and stylistic touches that became permanent fixtures in his career. Based on Josephine Tey's novel A Shilling for Candles, the film title refers to the characters' outlook. However Hitchcock characteristically chips away at that innocence with flourishes of macabre humour, such as scenes of a dead rat at the lunch table and a hopeless conference with a defence lawyer, while suspense is heightened in a game of blindman's buff at a children 's party. The story concerns a typically Hitchcockian innocent man (Derrick de Marney) on the run, with a trivial object to find (a raincoat) that will prove his innocence. He's helped by a fiery young girl (Nova Pilbeam) who's unfortunately the daughter of the chief constable, but has some handy first aid skills. There's also an oppressive mother figure in the shape of an overbearing aunt (Mary Clare). Aside from these thematic traits, what remains impressive for viewers new or old is Hitchcock's technical set-pieces: a car sinks into a mineshaft, a railway station is recreated in miniature, and the twitchy-eyed murderer is finally located via an extended aerial tracking shot across a ballroom (pre-empting many similar shots, eg: Notorious). This sequence took two days to accomplish, and demonstrates the director was more than ready to move to the older and less innocent American industry . --Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By IWFIcon VINE VOICE on 3 Sep 2008
Format: DVD
One of Hitchcock's (unfairly) forgotten films, living in the shadow of his more famous British works such as The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, Young And Innocent remains one of the highlights of his pre-American era and is one of the sweetest movies in his entire canon.

A film actress is found dead on a beach by Robert Tisdall (Derrick De Marney), but as he was seen running away from the body, she was strangled by the belt of his stolen raincoat and she's left him some money in her will, the police arrest him. Managing to escape from the courthouse, after some first aid treatment by the police commissioner's daughter Erica (Nova Pilbeam), he goes on the run and subsequently meets up with Erica again who, although initially reluctant, eventually agrees to help him to prove his innocence.

We know from the very beginning that the real murderer is a man with twitching eyes and whilst the film is ostensibly about Robert and Erica's hunt to find the killer, it's more about their journey to falling in love with each other. Pilbeam is superb, and ever so lovely, and Hitch's real-life fondness for her shines through in every scene. It would be a cold-hearted male viewer indeed who could watch this film and not fall in love with Erica, or at the very least not understand why Robert is so smitten. De Marney, who never really interested the director as much, suffers as a result but still gives a strong performance.

There are a strong set of supporting cast members, with wonderful comedic touches (notice throughout the film that it's the children who behave better than the adults - for instance it's the adults running around the birthday party in silly hats playing games whilst the children are more formal).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Skade VINE VOICE on 12 Nov 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the lesser known delights of the Hitchcock canon. The film is a light concoction containing some deft Hitchcock touches. It revisits the theme of 'The 39 Steps', though less suspenseful and not so sexy and without,of course, the great Robert Donat. A woman's body is washed onto a beach along with the weapon used to strangle her - a raincoat belt (30 years later a similar body, this time naked, would be found in the Thames strangled with a necktie; Hitchcock surely recalling this film when he made 'Frenzy'). Our hero is accused and spends the rest of the film on the run and searching for the missing raincoat. The famous long shot slowly closing in on the villains eyes is still astonishing, but there is much more in this film. The screams of the women who discover the body are unheard, transformed into the screeches of seagulls for example ( a trick used in 'The 39 Steps' with a train instead of the gulls) in this and in many other small examples we see Hitchcock's imaginative storytelling.
Between the brilliant '39 Steps' and the light masterpiece 'The Lady Vanishes' it is easy to see how this film might be passed over. But that would be a mistake - this is a film any Hitchcock admirer can enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. F. I. Macdonald on 21 Sep 2008
Format: DVD
For a long time I have longed to get my hands on a box of Hitchcock's early work which I have been told is most excellent having watched only his later films so it was with great delight that I stumbled over this film, one of his earler works. And boy was I glad I did! This remarkable little film had me captured from beginning until end and I really enjoyed everything about it. At not even an hour and a half I was left wanting more at the end which is always good with any film and I shall be searching the shelves for many more or his films from now on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nettlewine VINE VOICE on 22 Nov 2000
Format: VHS Tape
In the middle of all his thrillers, Hitchcock produced "Young & Innocent", which by comparison looks like a pastoral.
In a career which slowly and inevitably focused in on a particular style, this film shows another side of Hitchcock, a side previously seen in silents "The Farmer's Wife" and "The Manxman". These films are like little backwaters and reveal what Hitchcock had up his sleeve beside the thrills and spills.
De Marney discovers the body of a woman on a beach, and is spotted running away from the scene. It is assumed he did the killing, although he is innocent. Police chief's daughter Nova Pilbeam helps him in his fugitive life, and a now-familiar Hitchcock pattern emerges: the innocent man on the run. This plot pattern was used earlier in the 39 Steps and is used once again in Saboteur and, definitively, in North by Northwest.
A nice film, not as urgent as the thrillers around it, which may account for its low profile in the Hitchcock cannon. Look out for the famous dolly across the dancefloor to reveal the position of the real killer -- it sends shivers down the spine every time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb 2001
Format: DVD
The theme of the innocent good guy chased for a murder he hasn't committed is a typical Hitchcock situation ("The 39 steps", "North by northwest", just to mention a couple). This movie handles it with skill and a certain lightweight tone which isn't despisable: ok, maybe modern viewers may find it dated, but it's still an entertaining product. One of the final sequences is awesome even today: an incredible shot which slowly zooms in from a view of a ballroom to a close-up detail of the eyes of a drummer. A technically skilled and impressive shot!!!!!! Hitch rules!
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