Cinephiles can take a peek at some of master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock's early work on the web, with the U.S. National Film Preservation Foundation streaming footage from The White Shadow for free this winter.
Recovered portions of the 1924 film The White Shadow were unveiled on the foundation's website on Thursday and will be offered for the next two months.
British cinema icon Hitchcock — later known for classics such as Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, Vertigo and The Birds — served as an assistant director, art director, writer and editor on the silent film.
Directed by Graham Cutts, The White Shadow is a melodrama with actress Betty Compson portraying two sisters: one good, one evil. It was released just a few years before Hitchcock's directorial debut, The Pleasure Garden.
The footage is believed to be the earliest surviving work credited to Hitchcock, as well as the earliest surviving production the filmmaker worked on with Alma Reville, whom he married in 1926.
Preservationists working at the New Zealand Film Archive discovered the old film reels while exploring a recent donation. No other copies of the film are known to exist. The film was restored and has previously screened at the Beverly Hills, Calif. headquarters of the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The U.S. film foundation said it is able to host the online streaming thanks to financial donations as well as donated bandwidth from online film service Fandor.