And so it is: this early (1931) Hitchcock film shows more signs of the artist to come than any of his other British movies, pointing forward in particular to the deep sexual themes of Marnie and the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Joan Barry and Henry Kendall play a middle-class couple who inherit some money and run off to sample the illicit pleasures of the continent; following the Shakespearean title, they experience a sea change in their personalities, their relationship, their fundamental assumptions about the world. Though it ends with a shipwreck and rescue, the film’s suspense is exclusively moral: Hitchcock is testing the spiritual strength of his characters, without his usual murderous metaphors.
Rich and Strange
1 hour 23 min • 1931