Young and Innocent (1937)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Nov 1, 1937 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Bob Mastrangelo

Young and Innocent plays like a warm-up for Hitchcock's later masterpieces. With some echoes of his earlier classic The 39 Steps, it follows the journey of a man wrongly accused of murder on the run with a woman who thinks he is guilty. The themes Hitchcock addresses here would return again and again in his future films, and would often be pulled off with more sophistication and style, but Young and Innocent remains entertaining and thrilling in its own right. Nova Pilbeam and Derrick de Marney lack the charm and chemistry of later Hitchcock stars, but they still give it an enthusiastic effort. Edward Rigby is good as Old Will, a bum who helps the young leads, and Mary Clare and Basil Radford give very different performances from their roles a year later in The Lady Vanishes. There are some truly Hitchcockian moments, such as the entire opening sequence (from the confrontation between a man and a woman to the discovery of her body on the beach), and the birthday party for Erica's niece. Equally impressive is a later scene when Tisdall, Erica, and Old Will flee to an old mine, and their car falls into the collapsing ground. The wrong man on the run was one of Hitchcock's favorite plots, as it allowed him to delve into some of his familiar themes; Young and Innocent falls short of the complexity of those later films, but is still a strong effort.