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The Blackbird (1926)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  11 January 1926 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 403 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

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:
...
The Blackbird / The Bishop
Owen Moore ...
West End Bertie
...
Fifi Lorraine
Doris Lloyd ...
Limehouse Polly
Andy MacLennan ...
The Shadow (as Andy Maclennan)
William Weston ...
Red
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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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 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?

Quotes

The Blackbird: My boy, you must first return everything you have stolen.
West End Bertie: You have suggested my intensions... precisely!
The Blackbird: When you 'ave done this, then come to me.I will alwys be your friend.
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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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