The First Born

Directed by: Miles Mander, Great Britain, 1928

Great Britain, 1928
Szenenphoto aus The First Born, © Gainsborough Pictures


Cast and Credits

Production Gainsborough Pictures
Producer Gainsborough Pictures
Michael Balcon
Director Miles Mander
Scenario Miles Mander
Alma Reville
Based on Miles Mander
Director of Photography Walter Blakeley
Walter Blakeley
Editor Arthur Tavares
Art Director C. Wilfred Arnold
Cast Miles Mander [Sir Hugo Boycott]
Madeleine Carroll [Madeleine, his wife]
John Loder [David, Lord Harborough]
John Loder [Mme. Nina de Landé]
John Loder [Sylvia Finlay]
Ivo Dawson [Derek Finlay]
Ivo Dawson [Phoebe Chivers]
Ivo Dawson [The maid]
Ivo Dawson [Dot]
Ivo Dawson [Stephen, the first-born]
Ivo Dawson [Dickie]
Ivo Dawson [Butler]
Ivo Dawson [Mr. Imprett]

Technical specifications
Category: Feature Film
Technical Details: Format: 35 mm, 1:1,33 - Ratio: 1:1,33 - Black and White,
Sound System: silent
Survival Status: Prints of this picture exist [Archiv: BFI - National Film And Television Archive (London)]
Szenenphoto aus The First Born, © Gainsborough Pictures

Reviews in German: Was niemand erwarten konnte, war die visuelle Intelligenz und Raffinesse des Films. Mander und die Techniker seines Teams gruppieren und beleuchten Personen, Requisiten und Dekors mit einem wachen Auge für wirkungsvolle Gestaltung und emotionale Wirkung. Walter Blakelelys Kamera unternimmt subjektive Streifzüge. Überblendungen, Inserts und einfallsreiche Schnitttechnik verleihen Dialogen visuelle Dynamik, die allzu leicht zu einem Gewirr von Zwischentiteln geworden wären. Mander denkt stets filmisch - 1928 immer noch eine Seltenheit im britischen Spielfilm, trotz der Fortschritte von jungen Kerlen wie Hitchcock und Asquit. Im Laufe des Jahres 1929 wurde DAS WUNSCHKIND dennoch beiseite gedrängt, nicht zuletzt wohl dank Branchenkritiken, die seinen Wert als Massenunterhaltung infrage stellten. ((Vollständiger Text/ Quelle: http://www.cinetecadelfriuli.org/gcm/ed_precedenti/edizione2007/edizione2007_frameset.html)

The First Born

(...) Before "The First Born", Mander had only directed several DeForest Phonofilm sound shorts. Like Welles with Citizen Kane, he gave himself no place to hide: he directed, took one of the lead roles, and with Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville crafted the script from his own material, previously presented as a play (Common People) and a novel (Oasis). (...) What no-one could have expected was the film's visual wit and sophistication. (...) Another of the film's pleasures is the shading Mander gives his characters. Boycott the blackguard isn't all black: Mander makes his public charm entirely credible. Alongside, Carroll's Madeleine may appear foolish in her wifely devotion, but, warm and humane, she never comes across as a fool. (...) The First Born still displays abundant evidence of Mander's talent as an inventive filmmaker. (Geoff Brown)

(Vollständiger Text/ Quelle: http://www.cinetecadelfriuli.org/gcm/ed_precedenti/edizione2007/edizione2007_frameset.html

English character actor Miles Mander is one of the countless film figures whose careers never quite lived up to early promise. Mander is (slightly) remembered today for his long stint in small roles in Hollywood films of the 1930s and '40s. "The First Born" was Mander's shining moment as a writer/director/leading man, but his moment doesn't quite shine brightly enough. (...) The lead role in "The First Born" is Lady Boycott, sensitively played by the spectacularly beautiful Madeleine Carroll. She's trapped in a loveless marriage to a wealthy but cruel husband (very well-played by Mander, whose sharp features typecast him in unsympathetic roles). Lady Boycott uses her husband's wealth to help other people ... such as her manicurist, who is unmarried but has suddenly found herself pregnant. When Lady Boycott learns that her husband is a chronic philanderer who doesn't love her, she decides to adopt the manicurist's child so as to have somebody who loves her and needs her. (...) (F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre)

(Vollständiger Text/ Quelle: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018891/#comment)
Remarks and general Information in German: «Alma Reville, die Ehefrau und engste Mitarbeiterin von Alfred Hitchcock, begann ihre Karriere als Cutterin und Drehbuchautorin. Das Drehbuch zu dem spannenden Ehedrama DAS WUNSCHKIND schrieb sie zusammen mit Miles Mander, einem populären englischen Schauspieler, der auch die männliche Hauptrolle spielt und Regie führt. Es geht um eine Ehefrau, die ihren Mann liebt, obwohl er sie dauernd betrügt. Als er sie verlässt, schmiedet sie den Plan, ihn mit einem Wunschkind zurückzuholen. » (Stummfilmtage Bonn)

General Information

The First Born is a motion picture produced in the year 1928 as a Great Britain production. The Film was directed by Miles Mander, with Miles Mander, Madeleine Carroll, John Loder, , , in the leading parts. We have currently no synopsis of this picture on file;

Bibliography Stummfilmtage Bonn 2008 Katalog

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