Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Number Seventeen (1932)

number seventeen poster

SYNOPSIS: A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, but a detective is on their trail. – via IMDB

After having watched The Skin Game and really not liking it, I saw that I still had to watch Number Seventeen, which was released a year after the aforementioned. I was very sceptical, but saw that this was a very short movie, so decided to just get on with it and see what it was all about.

Number Seventeen is definitely an improvement over the last one, and this was something I didn’t even mind watching. Granted, that third act was not very entertaining, and almost become too much of a joke on itself, and felt so long and yet so rushed at the same time. However, it is not a dealbreaker. The rest of the movie is fine. Initially it comes across as serious, but it soon becomes evident that this is a lighter and more comical movie (and if it isn’t, Hitchcock missed the presentation plot). The characters were joking, there were silly events transpiring, and Ben’s facial expressions were entertaining at times.

number seventeen comical faces

Initially I thought the speeding up of actions happening on camera was funny, seeing as everything was black and white and it was followed by funny music, and this would have all been fine except that it was very soon overdone (and this is something that, for me, negatively affected the last act – there was just too much of it, and the novelty was lost). The third act also became long and drawn out due to all the train sequences, that sort of make the viewer lose interest quite quickly.

number seventeen

The plot hustles forward, and out of nowhere, but soon you realise that this is all about a robbery and a diamond necklace and thieves convening for it, and a detective at the right place at the right time, and a bystander at the right place at the wrong time who also gets dragged into everything. Also, I don’t know how this works, but all old movies seem to portray people meeting each other and falling head over heels in love with one another withing moments/minutes/whatever. It just irritates me to watch movies and people meet each other and then are prepared to throw everything they know away on the off chance that maybe someone likes them. Maybe I am too cautious, but I mean seriously now (I am referring to you Nora (Anne Grey), lady, you were supposed to be mute and deaf!!).

number 17

Definitely one of the better ones. While not great, the movie provided entertainment for what it was worth and it was short, coming in at just over sixty minutes, it is great for people looking into older movies, or an older comedy. I had more fun with it than I thought, even though it was preposterous! Not as bland as some of the other older Hitchcock outings I have seen so far!

11 thoughts on “Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Number Seventeen (1932)

  1. The price we are paying for older Hitchcock films, huh??? 🙂

    I’m so glad I took one on the back-end of his career! But at the same time, this blogathon is really quite amazing. We get to see the transformation of a director going from mediocre work to legendary. So much fun, this is. Glad to be a part. And nice review, as always.


    1. Thanks very much!

      I must say, these older ones are really quite the chore to work through. This was slightly better than the others, but it was still a far cry from greatness. But you are right, it’s pretty cool to see how he grew!


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