You may have noticed I have titled this review "Young and Innocent / The Girl Was Young". This is because both are names for this same movie. Technically this started out as a British film titled Young and Innocent. However, when it came over to America, it was named The Girl Was Young. Why it was changed I'm not sure, but it is a nice piece of trivia. Of course, if you are looking to purchase a copy of this movie, I would search for Young and Innocent.
Basically, a woman is murdered by her jealous husband and one of the woman's boy friends, one Robert Tisdall, is framed for the crime. Determined to prove his innocence, Robert Tisdall (played here by Derrick De Marney) escapes police custody only to find himself with the Chief Constable's daughter.
I must say, this isn't one of Hitchcock's best films. It is a nice film and has some funny spots to it, but it isn't as great as say North by Northwest or other films Hitchcock would make later on. However, it does have some good spots to it.
It does host a nice romance between Erica Burgoyne (played by Nova Pilbeam) and Robert Tisdall (Derrick De Marney). Maybe its just me, but I'm not drawn into this couple as much as say Notorious. Perhaps its the fact that the characters are not as defined as the other films and therefore less concrete. I'm not sure. It could be the fact we don't see as many twists in the plot of this movie as we usually see in Hitchcock films.
I'm not sure. It just feels...I don't know...off to be a Hitchcock film. As a Hitchcock film, its really unremarkable. If it wasn't for the director, my expectations would not be so high. As a regular film, it's pretty good. There are a couple of funny lines which keeps the movie interesting. The cast is good. Admittedly, I have to say this has to be most of the actors biggest roles, which is a pity because Derrick De Marney is really quite charming. No Cary Grant, but charming nevertheless.
Even though the plot is unremarkable, I must admit we do get to see some Hitchcockian camera angles in this film which act as highlights in this film. There is a wonderful scene where the whole camera focus is one man's eyes. This adds drama to the scene and makes it enjoyable.
While not in the best Hitchcock film, Young and Innocent does show where he began. It is a playful romance with some nice scenes with this fugitive from justice. If you want to see every Alfred Hitchcock movie, then you should see this one. If you don't, I will say this a nice film some people could enjoy.
“Ha Ha! So I have won you over!"
--Derrick De Marney (as Robert Tisdall / Beachcroft Manningtree in Alfred Hitchcock’s Young and Innocent aka Girl Was Young 1937 General Film Distributors Ltd.)