This is the only feature film directed by Hitchcock that is considered a lost film, which means that no prints of the film are known to exist.
Hitchcock himself considered it a mundane melodrama best forgotten, though fans naturally remain curious. In François Truffaut's book Hitchcock/Truffaut. Alfred Hitchcock himself described the film as "awful" and said he was "not sorry there are no known prints". Film historian J. Lary Kuhns, however, states in the book Hitchcock's Notebooks by Dan Auiler that one contemporary writer called The Mountain Eagle far superior to The Lodger.
Exteriors were filmed in Obergurgl, Austria. The Austrian Tyrol stood in for the mountains and hollows of Kentucky. Bad weather during the shooting was a constant source of trouble.
Although it was Hitchcock's second completed film, due to the runaway success of The Lodger, it was released three months after it.
Several surviving stills are reproduced in François Truffaut's book. More stills have recently been found to exist, many of which are reproduced in Dan Auiler's book. A lobby card (illustrated above right) for the film was found at a flea market in Rowley, Massachusetts. It was found in a box of broken frames and was being used as backing for the picture of another dog. The dog's significance in the film remains a mystery. It may have been used to assist Edward in fleeing the village or to help film's hero, John Fulton, during his escape from prison or return to the village seeking a doctor.
Although the film was reportedly released in the United States as Fear o' God, the title on the surviving U.S. lobby card seems to contradict this. Film historian J. Larry Kuhns claims the film was never released under that title.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesImages