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Blackmail (1929)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,528 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 49 critic

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 »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Charles Paton ...
...
Donald Calthrop ...
Cyril Ritchard ...
Hannah Jones ...
Harvey Braban ...
The Chief Inspector (sound version)
Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop ...
The Detective Sergeant (as Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop - Late C.I.D. Scotland Yard)
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Powerful Talking Picture See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chantaje  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Tracy (Donald Calthrop) sits eating some food which he has just gained in a first minor act of blackmail, he sits humming the tune "The Best Things in Life are Free". See more »

Goofs

When the Artist helps Alice fasten the ballerina outfit, the position of the sleeve on her shoulder changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Det. Frank Webber: Well, we finished earlier tonight than I expected.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Best Things in Life Are Free
(1927) (uncredited)
Written by Buddy G. DeSylva Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Whistled by Donald Calthrop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pretty good for its time
14 August 2005 | by (Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.) – See all my reviews

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!


13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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