The 1929 British silent/sound-transition version, I think, is superior in acting, lighting and prop use. The voice-overs of Lars Hanson (a Swede) and Lya De Putti (a Hungarian) are inadequate. It was originally a silent but, it just got caught up in the rush to sound.

Except for the last scene in the church with Mrs. McPhillip, the 1935 storyline has very little resemblance to director Arthur Robison's 1929 fine piece of work. However, the lighting, mood and atmosphere in Ford's are remarkably similar to the Robison's film made five years earlier.

I would like to see the 1929 film restored with the original music but leave it as a silent...as intended. It's that beautiful.


While I haven't seen the 1929 version but I wanted to say I admire you for including "I think" in your first paragraph.

So many people are self-styled experts and present their opinions as fact.

But I think you post has had its positive effect. I definitely want to see the 1929 version of THE INFORMER.


Thanks for the kind words. I'm not a movie expert, but I am a huge fan of silent movies. Basically, the only genre I'll watch now.

As far as I know, Grapevine Video is the only outlet selling the 1929 version of "The Informer." My copy is rough. It's probably a copy of a copy. But, the quality still is there...albeit, you have to be able to 'see through' the 80+ years of scratches, dust and dirt. However, the original intent comes through beautifully.

I like to see movies in chronological order to see the evolution of movies. I found it interesting how visually similar the 1929 version is to Von Sternberg's 1928 "The Docks of New York," another very gritty movie. To me, Lars Hanson, a great Swedish silent movie actor, must have studied that movie and George Bancroft's acting techniques. The lighting also is similar.

I hope you'll be able to view the 1929 "The Informer." I think you'll enjoy it. If you do, please post your thoughts. I don't know anyone else who has seen it.