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Blackmail (1929)

Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller | 6 October 1929 (USA)
After killing a man in self-defence, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.



(from the play by), (adapted by) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
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)


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


The Powerful Talking Picture See more »


Crime | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chantaje  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (2012 restoration) (silent)

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one key shot, the villain Cyril Ritchard is photographed with a thick shadow (caused by the arm of an overhead chandelier) across his upper lip. Hitchcock wanted the image to evoke the old-fashioned, heavily mustached villain found in many silent films. He later called this touch "my farewell to silent pictures". See more »


When Alice "unlocks" the door to the building where she lives, it starts to open as soon as the key reaches the door. It was clearly not only not locked, but not even latched. However, she goes through with the motion of unlocking it. See more »


[first lines]
Det. Frank Webber: Well, we finished earlier tonight than I expected.
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Featured in Il segno del comando (1992) See more »


Miss Up-to-Date
(1929) (uncredited)
Words by Frank Eyton and music by Billy Mayerl
Performed by Cyril Ritchard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hitchcock's first sound film
17 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

One of Hitchcock's early films, it was one of the first films to come out of England with sound during the end of the silent film era. An interesting film, we see several great shots of dolly's with the early staircase scene. Several well shot montages with wonderful dissolves and sound bridges. For 1929, Hitchcock shows the world with the film that he's a talented film maker. A risky scene, the audience gets to watch the main actress of the film undress behind her curtains. While the murder is never seen, the provocative and private scene of her undressing is present. Another interesting note, the main character of the film is the murderer! Throughout the film, the audience judges whether or not she is an innocent murderer or a killer. Hitchcock makes an early name for himself with this film with toying with the audience throughout the suspense of the film.

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