Image result for Downhill 1927

1hr 20mins
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Ivor Novello and Isabel Jeans

A Public schoolboy gets expelled when he takes the blame for a friend’s charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures

This excellent silent Hitchcock drama has what is probably the first use of the London Underground in a feature film. There is a lingering shot of Ivor Novello descending the original escalator at Maida Vale Underground station. The escalator was of the original type that required people to step off to one side (in this case the left) at the bottom. A legacy left over from these early ‘moving staircases’ is the reason today that passengers stand on the right of modern day escalators. The film is based on the play Down Hill by Ivor Novello and Constance Collier. For release in the US the film’s length was cut by six minutes and it was given the alternative title When Boys Leave Home.

The frontage to Maida Vale Underground station also appears in the movie. The large ‘UNDERGROUND’ wall mounted mosaic visible at the top of the stairs is still extant today, and features prominently in the 2013 film About Time (qv).
Playing the part of a title card in the film is this early form of London Underground advertising
Ivor Novello makes his way down to the platforms of the Bakerloo Line