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A Cottage on Dartmoor1929

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  • 4.2
A COTTAGE ON DARTMOOR is perhaps the most significant rediscovery. A tense, shocking thriller that stylistically evokes the early films of Alfred Hitchcock and the masterworks of Russian and German silent cinema, it is also an innovative work in its own right. From the dramatic opening night scenes on the English moorlands, director Anthony Asquith (PYGMALION, THE WINSLOW BOY) establishes an eerie, unpredictable atmosphere. Filled with astounding camerawork and lighting, and some of the fastest editing of the late silent period, DARTMOOR shows silent-era techniques at their apex, just as sound was about to radically change the industry and the movies.

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Member Reviews (3)

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top reviewer

Reviewing this is tough. It has many virtues, including a lengthy opening sequence that is indeed Hitchockian even if such a thing did not really exist at the time. It is also very unique in that the plot features folks going out to an evening of the "talkies" and it is of course silent. It is a very early "psychological" thriller and mostly succeeds on that level, but I found it to be too slow overall and perhaps mannered would be more correct. It's attributes were no doubt buried in the sound wave that hit but it does deserve notice as something that still stands out as very different.

2 members like this review

A brilliant film. It should be said, a hitherto lost masterpiece. It is essentially the summation of the highest level of the silent film art. I recommend it to anyone interested in cinema of any period. Also to be noted is the wonderful, sensitive piano accompaniment the BFI commissioned, which greatly enhances the film.

2 members like this review

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