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Blackmail (1929)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 5,965 users  
Reviews: 74 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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(from the play by), (adapted by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Blackmail (1929)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anny Ondra ...
Sara Allgood ...
Charles Paton ...
John Longden ...
Donald Calthrop ...
Cyril Ritchard ...
The Artist
Hannah Jones ...
The Landlady
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:

See and Hear It - Our Mother Tongue As It Should Be Spoken

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blackmail  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With The Jazz Singer (1927) doing spectacular business, the producers decided that the last reel of this predominantly silent film should have sound. Alfred Hitchcock thought that this was an absurd idea and so he secretly filmed the whole thing with sound. See more »

Goofs

Alice grasps the knife in a normal cutting position, with her thumb at the front of the handle. But her grip is different as she takes it behind the curtain: the knife is now held below her fist, with her thumb at the back of the handle, in a stabbing position. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood: End of an Era (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonny Boy
(1928) (uncredited)
by Al Jolson Buddy G. DeSylva Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Whistled by John Longden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not a disappointment at all
9 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen most of Alfred Hitchcock's films, silent and talking, and was saving this one for a special occasion. It was really quite good and although over-rated despite being cited so often (along with Mamoulian's "Applause") as a successful example of the transition between the silents and talkies in all the references I've consulted, it still has some distinct good qualities of its own. Annie Ondra is an excellent silent actress and this among several other films proves it. Her accent was very strong, of course, and employing Joan Barry to "lip-synch" was genial. Francois Truffaut's interviews with Hitchcock about working with Ms Ondra were enough to stimulate anyone's appetite to see her (and to hear Joan Barry) at work. The music - at least in the beginning - is excessively burdensome and "busy" and frankly irritating. However, when the characters finally began dialogue, it calmed down considerably and actually worked out well until the ending. We're seeing a hybrid here: a talkie and a part-talkie. When the talking itself finally happens, the characters aren't even facing the camera but are photographed from behind! This is the famous Hitchcock we know and love in the heat of action. The view of the staircase is very Hitchockian as in "Vertigo" or "Psycho" as well as the chase in a public monument (North by Northwest" comes to mind). Yes, the director made the move to talking pictures quite fluently and fluidly. One should keep in mind, too, that the film had already been completed as a silent before being converted into a talkie! All the more to admire...

Curtis Stotlar


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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