Easy Virtue

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Easy Virtue
Based on a Noël Coward play about the effects of scandal and gossip on a young woman after a much-publicised divorce by her brutal and jealous husband. Though occasional acerbic touches remain, the sections that are drawn directly from the original remain hampered by the loss of Coward's dialogue. But the first half of the film, an addition detailing events only described in the play, is pure Hitchcock, its combination of conciseness and idiosyncrasy demonstrating his mastery of silent narration. A typically bold example is the scene where a proposal of marriage is both made and accepted by telephone without either speaker being shown: Hitchcock traces the conversation via the reactions of the switchboard operator who's eavesdropping on the call. But he's almost certainly right about the final title, which he describes as being the worst he ever wrote.

By: AS

Release details

Duration: 7 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Eliot Stannard
Cast: Isabel Jeans
Franklin Dyall
Eric Bransby Williams
Ian Hunter
Robin Irvine
Violet Farebrother
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