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A Cottage on Dartmoor / Silent Britain (1929)

Cast: Norah Baring, Norah Baring, Uno Henning, more...
Director: Anthony Asquith, Anthony Asquith
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Classics, Suspense/Thriller, British Drama, Silent, Silent Dramas
Running Time: 195 min.
Languages: English
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Escaped From Dartmoor (aka A Cottage On Dartmoor) represented director Anthony Asquith's entree into the world of talking pictures. Compared by contemporary critics to the best that Hitchcock had to offer, the film concentrates on murder amongst the lower classes. Things go from bad to worse when Joe (Ugo Henning), a barber, falls in love with Sally (Nora Baring), a manicurist. When foreign customer Harry (Hans Schettow) likewise falls for Sally, Joe responds by slitting the man's throat. This earns him a stiff prison term, but he manages to escape for more deviltry. Completed as a silent film, Escaped from Dartmoor was converted into a part-soundie with the inclusion of a five-minute scene in which the three main characters attend a talking picture show. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Moral: Kiss her, for Christ's sake, when you 've first got the chance! by talltale November 4, 2007 - 10:34 AM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
There's an editing instant early on in the newly-released-to-DVD silent movie A COTTAGE ON DARTMOOR that's as modern and amazing as anything you've seen in a long while. (Remember: the movie was made in 1929!) This alone renders it worth a film buff's time. While it's difficult to get modern audiences even remotely interested in silent film, for those who are, "Cottage" demands a look for other reasons, as well.

The acting is a tad over-done--the standard back then--and the plot's rather obvious. The make-up, too, leaves the poor leading man looking awfully sallow ("Is this a zombie movie?" my companion asked, as he wandered into the room mid-film.) Yet "Cottage" goes in some surprising directions and by the finale manages to pack quite a punch.

In his nearly forty-year career, Director Anthony Asquith gave us some noteworthy filmed plays--"The Browning Version," "The Winslow Boy," "The Importance of Being Earnest"--plus that guilty semi-pleasure "The Yellow Rolls Royce." Here, in just his fourth film (out of 42), he already knows quite a bit about suspense, editing, symbolic cinematography--and love.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.50)
6 Votes
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