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One of Hitchcock's more charming efforts, this thriller stars the endearing 18-year-old Pilbeam as Erica Burgoyne, the daughter of police constable Col. Burgoyne (Marmount), who is heading an investigation into the strangulation death of an actress whose body has washed ashore, along
with the murder weapon--the belt of a raincoat. The prime, and in fact only, suspect is Robert Tisdall (de Marney) who maintains his innocence, despite the fact that everything is against him--he was friendly with the dead woman, he was included in her will, and his raincoat is missing. After
giving the suspect a ride to a desolate farmhouse, Erica is faced with the choice of helping Tisdall prove his innocence, despite her fear of the repercussions of her father and his office. Naturally she finds herself falling in love with him, and he with her, and together the young and innocent
fugitives must steer clear of the authorities and find the real murderer. While not generally considered one of Hitchcock's finer films, YOUNG AND INNOCENT, because of its simplicity (or innocence, in keeping with the title), is often overlooked, especially in light of the director's other British
successes, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, THE 39 STEPS, and THE LADY VANISHES. Although its plot is simply a reworking of THE 39 STEPS without the spy angle, YOUNG AND INNOCENT has a certain delightful charm to it, due entirely to the young Pilbeam, with her glowing Sylvia Sidney-type face. The film
also boasts some of Hitchcock's most memorable visual effects, namely a remarkable crane and dolly shot which travels across a grand ballroom and into the face of the murderer with his twitching eye.