Previously undiscovered footage from Alfred Hitchcock’s first film has been discovered in the New Zealand Film Archive.
The first 30 minutes of 1923 silent film The White Shadow, considered to be Hitchcock’s first credit, was discovered in a collection of unidentified American nitrate prints that had been kept at theNew Zealandarchive since 1989.
Hitchcock was 24 when the film was made and was the writer, assistant director, editor and production designer on the melodrama, which starred Clive Brook and Betty Compson as twin sisters – one good and one evil.
Only the first three reels of the six-reel film have been found; no other copy is known to exist.
The White Shadow was among the many silent-era movies salvaged byNew Zealandprojectionist and collector Jack Murtagh. After his death in 1989, the highly flammable nitrate prints were sent to the Film Archive for safekeeping by his grandson Tony Osborne.