Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Daily Dose #1: Spiralling into View: The Pleasure Garden (1925)

Recommended Posts

1. Yes, as I'm sure it has already been noted, the eyeglass sequence foreshadows the use of point of view that Hitchcock would give James Stewart's L.B. Jeffries in Rear Window


2. Again, some of the techniques will be apparent in Rear Window, but we can also see the leering sorts of characters Hitchcock would continue to use throughout the next 50 years. 


3. I believe the scene is still successful, despite the lack of synchronized dialogue. Characters and their intentions, motivations, etc. are still evident, while the plot continue to be established and pushed forward towards a cohesive story.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm starting this course late and excited to catch up.  I've been a Hitchcock fan for years and looking forward to seeing his films through new eyes.  
2. The first thing that struck me was the Hitchcock blonde that he will use the rest of his career.  Also, the little touches of humor like the man smoking in front of the smoking prohibited sign.
3. I don't think that anything was lost in the opening scenes due to the lack of dialogue.  The character's facial expressions move the story along.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daily Dose #1: Spiraling into View


Opening Scene from Hitchcock's first film, The Pleasure Garden (1925)


‪1. "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence - the girls coming down the stairs and the camera looking up at them running down the spiral staircase. He changed the shot and filmed from the top down‬


‪2. Yes I do agree. Scenes such as the lady talking and then older men enjoying the young ladies as well as the women in the audience - some sleep while others had binoculars was definitely a Hitchcock touch as well as his signature scene when the young lady was robbed of her letter of introduction for a job. ‬


3. I do not feel that there were any limitations on the opening scenes because everyone watching knew what was happening in each scene.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joining late, so quick summation:


1. I like the smoking next to the no smoking sign. Perfect light touch in a tension-filled scene.

2. The use of location is dramatic and furthers the expectation of tension and problems.

3. The introduction of the purse, as a closeup. Ensures you don't miss it, plus adds to viewers concern

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence: 1.) Icy blonde who's also intelligent and sardonic (i.e. the blonde who "gifts" her golden curl to the leering man backstage); and, 2.) close ups to draw attention to details which will prove to be central and important to the story.


2. I agree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career. Many of his movies featured icy blondes, such as Janet Leigh, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, and Tipi Hendron, as well as close ups of details that prove important and/or feature predominately in the film, such as the piece of rope in "Rope", the LA newspaper wrapped around the $40K in "Psycho", and the necklace in "Vertigo".


3. Since this is a silent film, I do feel that there were limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue, because we must rely on our observations and assumptions as to what might be said; however, this also provides us with the opportunity to use our imaginations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?


For the opening scene from The Pleasure Garden (1925), there are indeed examples of the famous "Hitchcock touch." Including the following: 


00:22-00:33 Tracking shot of different reactions from various different (mostly) men: 

  • 1st man: Nervous, middle-aged & rubbing self with napkin
  • 2nd: Eager, young man with dark hair slicked back bearing a large grin
  • 3rd: Bald, stiff upper lipped man shaking head in disapproval 
  • 4th: Old man with monocle leering perversely
  • At the end; Only Woman at the end in the row- asleep  


Example #2 shows an example of voyeurism, a prominent theme in several Hitchcock films: 

  • 00:38-41
    Blurred POV shot of dancers. Man with monocle raising binoculars to see better. 
  • 00:41-00:45
    Picture becomes adjusted through POV of binocular: ECU POV shot of dancers' legs
  • 00:45- 00:49
    Binocular's gradually raised up to glean at Patsy (Virginia Valli)'s profile.
Example #3 shows Hitchcock's humour, as well as light flaunting of rules and authority, which is also prominent in Hitchcock's films. Particularly The 39 Steps (1935) and North By Northwest (1959)
  • 1:31 
    Gentleman smoking away obnoxiously by a "Smoking Prohibited" sign.

Example #4 again shows Hitchcock's humour, as well as, showing witty, playful Blonde Patsy as an object of desire. She is reminiscent of the sexual, romantic confidence that Ingrid Bergman would later show in her movies with Htichcock, especially in the way that she thwarts unwanted suitors with a smile and biting wit.    

  • 2:12-2:33
    Tête-à-tête between the monocled man and Patsy over her "lovely curl of hair" (which turns out to be extensions). 

Example #5 shows Jill Cheyne (brunette) being a woman/innocent being in peril after getting her purse stolen by a couple of pickpockets.

  • 2:57
    Jill Cheyne's purse is shown to be extremely brightly lit just like the glass of milk from Suspicion (1941)


The film is not at all marred by "the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue." The actors, direction, cinematography, music, and setting convey the story, characters, and events very well. While dialogue can be significant, it is apparent in this film that it wasn't something that kept Hitchcock and his crew from being the master craftsmen that they are. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...