Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes ... See full summary »
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I watched Blackmail last night on BBC Four having hard it was Britain's first 'talkie' and an Alfred Hitchcock classic. A really good thriller for the early-mid 20th century and is obviously directed by Hitchcock. Not to mention a good opportunity to see London as it was in 1929! Quite a simple story lines with Anny Ondra who stars as our sweet timid heroine, Alice White, who is blackmailed after she killed man who tried to rape her.
The beginning is rather weird as you'll see when watch it and because of this, for one reason or another, I failed to understand it. Hitchcock performs a similar trick as he did later on in his career in Psycho, introducing Alice after he introduces the supporting characters.
The film sadly lacks action scenes as there is a pretty long build up and after the murder takes place we are more focused upon the psychological damaged inflicted upon Alice as she deals with the fact that she has taken another man's life. It is very obvious she is being dubbed, as her mouth and Joan Barry's flawless, girly English accent do not clash at some points during the movie. Ondra was may I add a very pretty lady for her time and I couldn't help but notice a jaw-resemblance to Meryl Streep. Most people won't know what I mean, but I could see it.
Hitchcock was a perfect choice to direct and did it considerably well, taking advantage of all the possible SFX's that were available in the late 20s. He also has a very clear cameo appearance on a train being annoyed by a child early on in the picture.
A real treat and an enjoyable way to spend my Saturday night!
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