Reviews

A Cottage On Dartmoor

4

In 1929 the silent era was succumbing to the all-conquering advance of the talkies, so it wasn’t the greatest timing for ambitious young Brit-director Anthony Asquith to make the finest movie of his career – as a silent. A Cottage On Dartmoor has been sorely underrated ever since. But it’s the equal for pace, ingenuity and technical assurance of anything Hitchcock was doing at the time. The story’s a classic love-triangle drama. Young barber Joe (Uno Henning), yearns for pretty manicurist Sally (Norah Baring), but is too shy to do anything about it until she falls for a prosperous farmer. Asquith crafts an intricate structure of flashbacks and subjective shots, linked by jump cuts that still startle. Watch out for a virtuoso sequence set during (irony!) the showing of a talkie. The pristine BFI print is enhanced by a new piano score and decent extras.

 

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