Champagne, made at British International Pictures (BIP) in 1928. Screenplay by Alfred Hitchcock and Eliot Stannard, based on a story by Walter C. Mycroft.
To keep his daughter out of a fortune hunter's hands, a millionaire pretends to go broke. The story line is as thin as mountain air and is basically boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finally gets girl.
Even though Hitchcock thought this was one of his worst films ever, it does have some funny bits, such as a drunk who walks with a stagger from side to side on a ship that is very steady... When the ship starts to roll, though, the drunk walks a straight line and everybody else staggers.
The film was trivial but not unlike some of the other losers with which Hitchcock was connected in his early years. A producer suggested to Hitchcock he make a film about champagne, and so he wrote a mordant and cautionary tale that was transformed into a "dreadful hodge podge."
While Hitchcock believed Champagne to be his career's "lowest ebb," Francois Truffaut thought the film to have some of "the lively quality of D. W. Griffith's comedies."
Starring Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, Theo von Alten, Gordon Harker. Run time: 104 minutes. Black and White. Silent.
Champagne is in the Public Domain. DVD $30, excellent quality. US shipping $1 first class. International us$3.
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