Alfred Hitchcock's comments in his frequent interviews have encouraged many critics to assume that the director's true career began in 1934 with The Man Who Knew Too Much, the first in a long, almost unbroken string of thrillers. Then, having defined Hitchcock as a specialist, these critics select from his earlier work only those films that anticipate his later career: The Lodger (1927), Blackmail (1929), Murder! (1930), and Number Seventeen (1932). Such a perspective, mired in the confidence of hindsight, results in a highly misleading view of the director, one that dismisses his 12 other early features - eight silent and four sound - and implies that he was merely marking time until his "true" creative personality emerged. Hitchcock was, in fact, a major director from the very start of his career in 1925 and for 10 years he made substantial, mature features that reveal an impressive consistency in content and form. This book examines those all important films.