The Pleasure Garden (Live Piano Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville)
July 20, 2013
Hitchcock establishes the dynamic tension between viewer and viewed within the first few cuts of his directorial debut, as a leggy line of dancers descends a spiral staircase to take the stage for a crowd of monocled spectators. It’s the untried dancer from the provinces who proves ruthless in The Pleasure Garden, while the veteran who offers a helping hand suffers dwindling fortunes and a cruel husband. As their paralleled lives come unglued for a haunting eruption of violence in the tropics, Hitchcock explores the stylistic possibilities of the melodrama. The production was British, the actresses American, the sets German, the air of unfulfilled desire and moral transgression pure Hitchcock.