Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Ring, The (1927)


Main image of Ring, The (1927)
35mm, black and white, silent, 8400 feet
DirectorAlfred Hitchcock
Production CompanyBritish International Pictures
Written byAlfred Hitchcock
PhotographyJack Cox

Cast: Carl Brisson (Jack 'One Round' Sander); Lilian Hall-Davis (Mabel, the girl); Ian Hunter (Bob Corby); Forrester Harvey (James Ware, the promoter); Harry Terry (the barker)

Show full cast and credits

Love triangle melodrama set in the world of boxing. When Jack 'One Round' Sander is discovered by promoter James Ware, his career takes off. But rival Bob Corby, heavyweight champion takes an interest in his girlfriend.

Show full synopsis

Hitchcock's first film at British International Pictures is one of the finest of his silent films. Hitchcock had become frustrated at Gainsborough after two stage adaptations in a row, and was delighted when given the opportunity to develop an idea of his own. The Ring (1927) is Hitchcock's one and only original screenplay, which makes the subject all the more surprising in retrospect. The film is a love triangle melodrama set in the world of boxing: the title refers not just to the boxing ring, but to the wedding ring which unites up-and-coming contender Jack 'one round' Sander and his girlfriend Mabel, and to the threat to their relationship symbolised by an arm bracelet given to Mabel by Jack's rival Bob.

Colleagues at the studio were impressed by the neatness of Hitchcock's script and its writer's grasp of structure, and it's true that there are few signs of his inexperience. However, Hitchcock had in his previous films developed a close involvement in the writing process which he would continue throughout his career. What's more, writing for silent films came naturally to a director who already thought in visual terms. He was much less comfortable with dialogue, which goes some way to explain why he took no sole writing credit in any later films.

The Ring contains a number of fine examples of the experimental flourishes which appear throughout Hitchcock's early films, particularly in the impressive party scene. It also features some fine performances, notably from the dashing Danish lead Carl Brisson and Lilian Hall-Davis, perhaps the most attractive and natural of his early heroines. Both would appear again in Hitchcock's films, with Brisson returning in The Manxman (1929), and Davis in The Ring's follow-up, The Farmer's Wife (1928).

The Ring was a welcome success for Hitchcock after the disappointing reception of Easy Virtue (1927). An enthusiastic reviewer in Bioscope exclaimed, "This is the most magnificent British film ever made", and Hitchcock went into his next film with his confidence restored.

Mark Duguid

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
1. Fun of the fair (2:10)
2. On the top (1:34)
3. Party scene (4:55)
Production stills
Brisson, Carl (1897-1958)
Cox, Jack (1890-1960)
Hall-Davis, Lilian (1897-1933)
Harker, Gordon (1885-1967)
Hitchcock, Alfred (1899-1980)
Mycroft, Walter (1890-1959)
Stannard, Eliot (1888-1944)
Silent Hitchcock