Hangman’s House. 1928. USA. Directed by John Ford. With Victor McLaglen, June Collyer, Larry Kent. Silent, with piano accompaniment. 71 min.
John Ford’s imaginary Ireland had its dark side, too, as reflected in The Informer, The Plough and the Stars, and this late silent film, in which Victor McLaglen plays an officer in the British army who returns to his home county disguised as a monk and charged with a secret mission of vengeance. Working with his regular Fox cinematographer, George Schneiderman, Ford spins a gothic atmosphere around McLanglen’s mission and the forbidding mansion of the title, where a young bride (June Collyer) is living with the dubious aristocrat (Earle Foxe) she has been forced to marry. John Wayne, then a USC student moonlighting as a prop man at Fox, is clearly visible as an extra in a racing sequence. New 4K restoration from nitrate elements held by MoMA, funded by Twentieth Century Fox