6.9/10
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19 user 7 critic

The Blackbird (1926)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 13 February 1926 (USA)
Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dan - The Blackbird / The Bishop
...
Bertram P. Glayde aka West End Bertie
...
Fifi Lorraine
...
Limehouse Polly
Andy MacLennan ...
The Shadow (as Andy Maclennan)
William Weston ...
Red
...
Bertie's No. 1 Man
...
Bertie's No. 2 Man
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Storyline

Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lon Chaney in his successor to "The Unholy Three". (Newspaper ad cut). See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Bird  »

Box Office

Budget:

$166,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end credits have a dedication to "Hugh M. Hefner". Hugh Marston Hefner of Playboy fame was born in 1926- the same year as The Blackbird's release. See more »

Quotes

The Blackbird: Want me to tell your Dad you're with a Chink?
[Young lady starts to cry]
The Blackbird: Go 'ome and get that paint off your face!
[Kicks young lady in her behind as she leaves the vaudeville theater]
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sinister tale of the London underworld
27 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lon Chaney gets to play his own evil twin in this Tod Browning crime adventure. The "Blackbird" is a low-life criminal who falls in love with Fifi, a music hall performer. Unfortunately, someone else loves her too: posh "West End Bertie," who wears a topper and a monocle like Bertie Wooster, but who's actually a crook himself, not above robbing his own friends while they're out slumming (including watching "chinkys" smoking opium).

The Blackbird and Bertie decide to become a team, but tension mounts as the Blackbird realizes that Fifi is falling for Bertie. Mixed in to the plot is the Blackbird's ex, who seems on a crusade to reform him, and his brother 'The Bishop', a helpless cripple known for his work among the poor. Blackbird and Bishop share a room but are never seen together.

The ending is tragic, as could be expected, but not without a trace of "cornball."

Browning's direction is excellent. He sets up the Limehouse location at the opening by showing a sequence of faces that evoke the atmosphere more than a mere set could do. He knew how to get the best out of Chaney, but the others in the cast also do a fine job with their facial expressions, all masterfully captured by Browning. The new score by Robert Israel, containing snippets from Chopin and others, fits the period well and never intrudes.


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