Hitchcock’s First Film Found Within ‘Highly Unstable Nitrate Material’


The National Film Preservation Foundation and the New Zealand Film Archive, while looking for their keys one day, happened to find the first 30 minutes of The White Shadow, a 1923 silent British film considered to be Alfred Hitchcock's first ever feature-length project. The filmmaker was only 24 when he worked on Shadow as its writer, assistant director, editor, and production designer; Graham Cutts — a "hack," according to National Society of Film Critics chairman David Sterritt — directed. The reel had been hiding amid a "collection of unidentified American nitrate prints" in New Zealand since 1989. So, since the film doesn't even know what things like "Instant Watch" or "Quicktime" are, we're all going to have to be patient about seeing it; the "re-premiere" is slated for September 22 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. [LAT]