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Hitchcock's The White Shadow found in New Zealand

The earliest surviving film by director Alfred Hitchcock has been found at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington.

Three of the six reels that make up the 1924 film The White Shadow were discovered. This is thought to be the only known copy in existence.

Hitchcock served as assistant director, art director, editor and writer for the British melodrama when he was 24.

In The White Shadow , actress Betty Compson plays twin sisters – one angelic and the one “without a soul”.

The three reels turned up among a batch of unidentified American prints that had been stored by the archivists.

“These first three reels of The White Shadow - more than half the film - offer a priceless opportunity to study Hitchcock’s visual and narrative ideas when they were first taking shape,” David Sterritt, chairman of the National Society of Film Critics and author of The Films Of Alfred Hitchcock , told The Hollywood Reporter .