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The Camera LiesActing for Hitchcock$
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Dan Callahan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197515327

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197515327.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

Juno and the Paycock, Murder!, Mary, Elstree Calling, The Skin Game

Juno and the Paycock, Murder!, Mary, Elstree Calling, The Skin Game

Chapter:
(p.35) 5 Juno and the Paycock, Murder!, Mary, Elstree Calling, The Skin Game
Source:
The Camera Lies
Author(s):

Dan Callahan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197515327.003.0005

After the success of Blackmail, Hitchcock was tasked with filming successful plays like Juno and the Paycock (1930) by Seán O’Casey and The Skin Game (1931) by John Galsworthy, and neither of these pictures gave him any real creative leeway. Both of these theater adaptations feature acting that would be far more acceptable on stage than for the camera, but Hitchcock finds all kinds of interesting things to do with his players in Murder! (1930), where he focused particularly on Norah Baring as the mysterious female lead and Esme Percy (a former matinee idol who had worked with Sarah Bernhardt) as a murderous cross-dresser named Handel Fane. A German version of Murder! called Mary allows us to see just how important casting can be and how it can make a movie drastically shift its tone. In Mary, the character of Handel Fane is played by the tall and hearty Ekkehard Arendt, who is the exact opposite of Esme Percy in looks and manner.

Keywords:   Seán O’Casey, John Galsworthy, Murder!, Esme Percy, Sarah Bernhardt

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