This film is rereleased as part of the nation's celebrations (led by the British Film Institute) in honour of the UK's most famous filmmaker: Alfred Hitchcock. His fifth film as director is only his second earliest to survive and has undergone extensive restoration to be complete for this summer.
Ivor Novello (the famed balladeer and performer) plays a shy boarding house tenant who inadvertently becomes chief suspect in a serial killer investigation. Someone is going around London killing pretty blondes, and the fingers are being pointed at this mysterious man. This film is also significant for being Hitchcock's first 'wrong man' mystery; the archetype of film wherein our hero is mistaken for being someone more dastardly, and acts a precursor for films including The Man Who Knew Too Much (both of them), Rear Window and North by Northwest.
Many people believe that this film, from 1926, is the first that can be truly described as 'Hitchcockian', and the director takes clear influence from his counterparts in Berlin practicing the sinister, fetishistic German Expressionism. The film has been restored with a newly commissioned soundtrack by Nitin Sawhney. The film, though, is reason enough to be inside a cinema auditorium for an hour and twenty minutes during this Indian Summer of ours.
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is at the Curzon Mayfair and BFI Southbank now.