The White Shadow (1924), the newly discovered lost Alfred Hitchcock movie, certainly wasn't one of the high points in his early career. "The film was a total failure," writes Donald Spoto in his Hitchcock biography. "A box-office disaster," agrees rival biographer John Russell Taylor.
Nonetheless, the re-emergence of the film is bound to cause huge excitement. It was shot in Islington, north London, and was the follow-up to Woman To Woman (1923), an international hit that the same team had made the year before.
It seems that all the ingenuity and artistry went into the earlier film. The White Shadow's failure was as spectacular as the success of its predecessor.
It's an irony that The White Shadow has now turned up. The British Film Institute recently named Woman To Woman as one of its "most wanted" in its search for missing films. That movie remains lost whereas the reviled and unsuccessful second film has been unearthed.
One prediction can safely be made: The White Shadow will be treated with far more reverence today than it was in 1924.