The Pleasure Garden
The Pleasure Garden – 1925 | 75 mins | Drama | B&W – Silent
In 1922, at twenty-three, Hitchcock became a director and producer-albeit for an ill-fated production. His first directorial stint was an uncompleted independent production called Number Thirteen. As unlucky as this number was for him then, three years later he was given his first full assignment, to direct The Pleasure Garden. When it was released, critics agreed that the film had the look and feel of an American-made picture, although it had been produced in Munich. But this was to be expected, since Hitchcock had used American lighting techniques and know-how from his apprentice experiences at Famous Players Lasky.
The story of The Pleasure Garden tells of a naive chorus girl, Patsy, who works at the Pleasure Garden Theatre. She arranges a job for her friend Jill. Patsy marries Levett, who is a friend of Jill’s fiancé, Hugh. After they honeymoon at Lake Como, Levett leaves for the colonies. Patsy returns home to find Jill fooling around with other men while she stalls her trip to the islands, where fiancé, Hugh awaits. Patsy finally leaves but arrives only to find him making love to a native woman. Patsy, shocked and outraged, declares she is leaving him. He kills the native but makes it look like suicide. As he is about to kill Patsy, he is himself shot down by a local doctor. Hugh, abandoned by Jill, and Patsy decide they need each other.
Extract© Richard A. Harris, Michael S. Lasky: The Complete Films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Carmelita Geraghty: Jill Cheyne
Miles Mander: Levett
Nita Naldi: Native
John Stuart: Hugh Fielding
Virginia Valli: Patsy Brand
Ferinand Martini: Mr Sidey