We have always loved Nova Pilbeam in this film and we named a cat after her.
I think we should name any dog we have Towser.
This is an enjoyable romp of a film but at the same I can’t think of any other British Hitchcock film that has as much resemblance to real life as this does. It actually unwittingly tells us quite a lot about mid-thirties Britain.
A Britain in which an obviously bright girl was clearly not destined for university or a job but was heading straight into marriage. One where said young woman may be in charge of the household but she has a maid and a cook to ensure that all she has to worry about is the film’s plot.
Cars were still being started with cranks and there were still plenty of horse drawn vehicles about.
Petrol stations weren’t really stations but places where little boys would operate the single pump for you (perhaps this was a Hitchcock touch but you can imagine him witnessing this and noting it down for later use).
Roadside cafes were called carmen’s shelters and lorry drivers were called carmen.
And you could get huge mugs of tea there.
A Britain with lots of smoking and very fancy party hats.
And perhaps more damning, a Britain with tramps and dosshouses.
And less damning, a Britain where broken china wasn’t thrown away but was mended.
And finally, a Britain where bands played live in hotels in blackface (any good reason for that?)
Alma fact: continuity
Transport: cars, a train
Source: Alfred Hitchcock – The Early Years DVD (Concorde Video)
Thanks to 1000 Frames of Hitchcock.