Director: Arthur Robison
Cast: Lars Hanson, Lya de Putti, Carl Harbord, Warwick Ward
UK 1929 | Black & white | 101min | Drama
Avaliable on: DCP
Liam O’Flaherty’s 1925 novel about betrayal amidst the chaotic political and revolutionary environment of the newly independent Ireland of 1922 was famously adapted for the screen by John Ford. This earlier, silent adaptation is arguably finer, bringing to bear the best of late 1920s European filmmaking, but with one foot in the 1930s. O’Flaherty claimed that he wrote The Informer as a ‘high-brow detective story’ that was ‘based on the technique of the cinema’. Director Robison’s approach, emphasising the sense of claustrophobia and playing up the chiaroscuro, anticipates the mood of later film noir thrillers. German cinematographers Brandes and Sparkuhl make the most of the A-list international stars, Lars Hanson and the languorously beautiful Lya de Putti. Dublin is convincingly realised – one virtuoso tracking shot takes you from a rooftop down to a bustling street as it follows Gypo Nolan (Hanson), elbowing his way through the crowd, on his way to inform on his friend. Love and loyalty struggle to survive the consequences of his action. (Bryony Dixon)
This DCP features a score by Gareth Knox.