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.