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The Informer (1929)

  • Drama
  • A man betrays his best friend, a member of a terrorist organisation, to the authorities and is then pursued by the other members of the organisation.

    English

    Description

    In Ireland, an IRA man betrays a killer to the police, thinking he is his mistress's lover.

    The Informer (1929) download

    The Informer (1929) download

    The Informer (1929) download


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    Reviews

    Comments

    1 week ago

    Until I found "The Informer" (1929), I had no idea that the John Ford version from 1935 wasn't the first. I can understand why they remade the film so quickly, however, as back in the 1930s they remade EVERYTHING (or so it seems). Plus, the 1929 version was a mostly silent film....and remaking it in full sound made sense.Unlike the American version, this British film does not talk about the IRA and the closest you get to this is when they talk about 'the Party'...which was perhaps a subtle nod to the IRA or Sinn Fein. I can understand this, as British audiences of the time wouldn't have flocked to the theaters to see a film sympathetic to the Irish cause. Think about it...only a few short years earlier the Irish gained their independence after a bloody civil war!The film begins with a gang of criminals or anarchists (who knows?) talking about how a truce will begin with the police. However, only moments later, the police raid the place and the Chief of police is killed. Francis is admonished to run for it...but before leaving the country he stops to see his girlfriend. Unfortunately, she's fallen for Gypo and tells Francis. However, Gypo oversees them and assumes she's cheating on him....so he rushes to the police to inform them where the killer is hiding. Unfortunately for Gypo, someone oversees this and soon the underworld knows of Gypo's infamy."The Informer" is a hybrid film....pretty much a silent film with sound effects and music. However, 45 minutes into the film, suddenly there is dialog...and difficult to understand dialog because the sound technology they were using was poor. This is NOT unusual--many American silents were retroactively turned into 'talkies' by adding a few talking scenes....much like in "The Jazz Singer". In this case, I think they changed their minds mid-movie and switched it from silent to sound.So is it any good? Yes...much of it's very nice...especially the cinematograpy. Also, the John Ford version suffers from some overacting...and oddly the silent is better acted in general. But given it's a hybrid film, I can easily understand why they re-shot the picture only six years later....and this time in 100% sound.

    1 week ago

    Working class Irishmen Lars Hanson (as Gypo Nolan) and Carl Harbord (as Francis McPhillipp) are members of an anti-establishment "Party", where politics is punctuated with gunfire. While maintaining a friendship with his comrade, Mr. Hanson is obviously interested in Mr. Harbord's fickle moll, the lovely Lya de Putti (as Katie Fox). After Harbord kills the local police chief (during a gunfight) he is driven underground; leaving Ms. de Putti free to hook up with Hanson. Then, when Harbord surfaces to visit his mother, Hanson suspects he is seeing de Putti. So, Hanson becomes "The Informer", hounded by detective Warwick Ward (as Dan Gallagher).Fascinating, superb direction from Arthur Robison, and gorgeous photography from Theodor Sparkuhl and Werner Brandes, highlight this undiscovered classic. Director Robison and crew are always moving the picture; even a background window is filled - if only with the shadows of passing figures. The crowds of people are a moving backdrop for the film's atmospheric array of shadows, alleys, streets, police, and prostitutes. Although "The Informer" is labeled "A British International Picture", it might more accurately be described as a "German Film Noir".John Ford re-made "The Informer" in 1935; and, obviously, he was influenced by this version. Heavily accented leading players Hanson (Swedish) and de Putti (Hungarian) found their film careers killed by talking pictures, regrettably. Their performances are excellent… ... then ...After about 45 minutes, the film changes from "silent" to "talking". The switch works as a dramatic device; although, it certainly couldn't have been planned by cast and crew. More probably, the studio ordered the change, as the popularity of all-silent films plummeted. The decision might have been a sound one; however, the voices dubbing Hanson and de Putti are inadequate.A restoration of "The Informer", with improved dubbing, could remedy the situation. The eerie "your mother has forgiven me" ending, with Hanson achieving Salvation, must remain, however. If, for some reason, you feel inclined to leave this version of "The Informer" unfinished, don't dare miss the last few minutes of work from actor Hanson and director Robison. ********* The Informer (10/17/29) Arthur Robison ~ Lars Hanson, Lya de Putti, Warwick Ward, Carl Harbord

    1 week ago

    It's been said that this movie is just like the 1935 version, but it really isn't. This movie shows Francis McPhillip killing someone. In the 1935 version, you just see the wanted poster. In this version, Katie is actually McPhillip's girl. In the 1935 version, she was always Gypo's girl and he discovers her practicing prostitution in the latter version. Also, Nancy, Carroll, who I believe played Katie in the 1935 version was much better-looking that Lya de Putti. I understand that the voices of Lya de Putti and Lars Hanson (who plays Gypo) in this version had to be dubbed, but it still would have been nice to her Miss de Putti's voice as she passed away just two years later. I also question the choice of Lars Hanson as Gypo. I guess it's because I saw the 1935 version first, but I picture a bigger, burlier man playing Gypo. Victor McGaglen, who played Gypo in the 1935 version, would be an excellent choice here. This version gives more detail, so if I had to choose between the 1929 and 1935 versions, I would go with this 1929 version. Also, I want to add something. In 1996, when Turner Classic Movies made its wonderful documentary "Cinema Europe", movies from the different countries profiled (Sweden, Germany, France...etc) were shown the night that each of the first five episodes profiled (France, Germany, etc.), but did not show one for the episode dealing with British silent cinema. I really do think this film deserved a viewing then. I do believe it is that good, even though it is a part-talkie.

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