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The Lodger and The Shadow

Last week I watched the silent film classic THE LODGER, Alfred Hitchcock’s unofficial first movie (meaning it is the project he claimed as his first real movie, the two preceding it comprising just warm-ups for him) and offered my thoughts on the flick for your consideration. One thing that struck me during my viewing of the film, but which I neglected to mention in my review, concerns the title character’s appearance. The Lodger, who may or may not be a serial killer terrorizing London and is portrayed with subtle menace by Ivor Novello, wears a dark cloak, a dark, wide-brimmed hat, and a scarf pulled up to cover the lower part of his face. Sound familiar? LOOK familiar? It sure did to me.

This is exactly how The Shadow, star of radio, magazine, and later television and the movies, is always depicted. I surfed the ol’ Internet in search of confirmation that the silent film inspired the look of the character (the movie came out in 1927 and The Shadow made his first appearance in 1930) but came up empty. It would seem obvious that the inspiration came for the latter from the former, yet I can find no trace of it. It’s possible that it’s just a coincidence, but I can’t believe no one else has even COMMENTED on the resemblance before.

TheCheezman • September 14, 2018

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