Alfred Hitchcock was known to have a surprise or two up his sleeve. But now he’s really done it. Just as we thought we’ve thoroughly consumed the catalog of his masterpieces we receive, posthumously, a film that is chock-full of contributions from the legendary filmmaker.
Earlier today, it was revealed that half of “The White Shadow,” the first known film on which Hitchcock is credited, was discovered by archivists. They had been sifting through reels of film that were donated to the New Zealand Film Archive by the family of a former projectionist.
A statue newly attributed to Michelangelo. A new short story by Dashiell Hammett. Hundreds of Picasso works found? And now a new film from Hitchcock? Geniuses never truly rest.
The silent film, not directed by a 24-year-old Hitchcock but written by him, was filmed in 1923. He is also pinned as the Assistant Director, Editor and Art Director of the found footage. According to cnn.com, “film archivists describe ‘The White Shadow’ as ‘a wild, atmospheric melodrama starring Betty Compson in a dual role as twin sisters, one angelic and the other ‘without a soul.’” Only the first 3 of 6 reels of film–about 30 minutes of playtime– have been recovered.
Several still images from “The White Shadow” have been released, courtesy of the New Zealand Film Archive, and they are stunning. Reportedly, the film will be restored and then screened for the public.