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The Skin Game

1931 1h 27m Drama List
38% Tomatometer 8 Reviews 18% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
An English aristocrat's wife (Helen Haye) blackmails a progressive (Edmund Gwenn) over a land deal. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (8) Critics Reviews
Times (UK) Staff Times (UK) The plot [of the play] is too closely knit and the action too localized to make the best cinematographic material. Mr. Hitchcock, however, has used his imagination in translating the play into the terms of the screen. Jul 13, 2020 Full Review Variety Staff Variety The playing is exceptional, both men and women. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Mordaunt Hall New York Times Mr. Galsworthy's narrative is bound to enlist one's attention, but Mr. Hitchcock, who is responsible for the adaptation as well as the direction, cannot be said to have accomplished either task in a fashion the subject deserves. Rated: 2/5 Jan 28, 2006 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh TheArtsStl It's surprising from a contemporary point of view how much Galsworthy stacked the deck, and in what direction, but that's something you have to take in the spirit of the time... Rated: 6/10 Dec 26, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Stagy and verbose, this British play adaptation is one of the few weak movies Hitchcock had made in an otherwise brilliant career. Rated: C Nov 17, 2012 Full Review TV Guide This early Hitchcock talkie shows none of the mastery that would subsequently make the director an internationally recognized genius. Rated: 2/4 Mar 20, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Steve D Only Gwenn gives it any life. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 12/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Much better than the ratings suggest. Admittedly it's a thin story that takes a while to get going but the last 30 or so minutes are gripping stuff and Edmund Gwenn gives a surprisingly delightful performance, and his best in any of his roles under Hitchcock, as the unscrupulous Mr Hornblower. Not a huge amount to recognise for the average Hitchcock fan but far superior to some of his other early work that is higher rated. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review paul d The Skin Game is a tale of several bitter battles. It pits the aristocracy, the landed gentry, against the nouveau riche, who've made their fortunes with rampant capitalism and industrialisation. It is also a battle between families who each have their humanity and their foibles. And it is a tragic, melodramatic love story in which a woman battles against her past, yet we know she is doomed by the raging forces that surround her. Finally, it also has hints of a different, sweeter love story, with two innocent young people making faint attempts to be together while resisting their families' battles, and theirs is the final frame of the film, one that gives hope for the future. All this was a successful play that Alfred Hitchcock turned into a film in 1931. Yes, true to its theatrical origins, it is a series of wordy stage-pieces that chafe against our modern film sensibilities. But there are plenty of moments for Hitchcock's genius to shine: wonderful scene set-ups, camera movements, close-ups, and even flashbacks. The first drawing room scene, when Hornblower confronts the Hillcrests, is a masterpiece. Edmund Gwenn gives a magisterial performance as the newlyy-rich industrialist, Hornblower. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I really enjoy the top-to-bottom wicked characters here; everyone is a bastard, using this young woman to get what they want. Large portions of it are relatively stale filmically, but Hitchcock still has moments of showing off his penchant for bold style to tell the story (ghostly vision). It's an intriguing (though familiar) morality tale. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review zed b Mixed bag of emotions from Hitchcock, with the class system under the spotlight. As with Juno and the Paycock the transition from stage to film feels flat and beyond his technical reach at the time. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review joel h In this spin on Romeo & Juliet, two families try to one-up each other with disastrous results. It's not an overly compelling movie, though, with long stretches of nothing really happening. The ending, however, packs an emotional punch along with a not-so-subtle message about holding grudges. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Skin Game

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis An English aristocrat's wife (Helen Haye) blackmails a progressive (Edmund Gwenn) over a land deal.
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Producer
John Maxwell
Production Co
British International Pictures
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Streaming)
Aug 13, 2012
Runtime
1h 27m