IMDb > Blackmail (1929)
Blackmail
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Blackmail (1929) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   5,972 votes »
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Up 76% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Charles Bennett (from the play by)
Alfred Hitchcock (adapted by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Blackmail on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 October 1929 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
See and Hear It - Our Mother Tongue As It Should Be Spoken
Plot:
Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Remarkable piece of cinematic history See more (74 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Anny Ondra ... Alice White
Sara Allgood ... Mrs. White
Charles Paton ... Mr. White
John Longden ... Detective Frank Webber
Donald Calthrop ... Tracy
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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Ashby ... Boy (uncredited)
Joan Barry ... Alice White (voice) (uncredited)
Johnny Butt ... Sergeant (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man on Subway (uncredited)
Phyllis Konstam ... Gossiping Neighbour (uncredited)
Sam Livesey ... The Chief Inspector (silent version) (uncredited)
Phyllis Monkman ... Gossip Woman (uncredited)
Percy Parsons ... Crook (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Charles Bennett (from the play by)

Alfred Hitchcock (adapted by)

Benn W. Levy (dialogue) (as Benn Levy)

Michael Powell  uncredited

Produced by
John Maxwell .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jimmy Campbell (musical score by) (as Campbell)
Reginald Connelly (musical score by) (as Connelly)
Hubert Bath (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Jack E. Cox (photography) (as Jack Cox)
 
Film Editing by
Emile de Ruelle (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
C. Wilfred Arnold  (as W.C. Arnold)
Norman G. Arnold (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Mills .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Dallas Bower .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Harold V. King .... sound (uncredited)
Harry Miller .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ronald Neame .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Michael Powell .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Derick Williams .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Hubert Bath .... musical score arranged by
Hubert Bath .... musical score compiled by
John Reynders .... conductor: British International Symphony Orchestra
Harry Stafford .... musical score arranged by
Harry Stafford .... musical score compiled by
 
Other crew
Joan Barry .... dubbing voice: Anny Ondra (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
85 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (R.C.A. Photophone System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-12 (1995) | Finland:K-16 (1931) | Germany:12 | Iceland:L | Spain:T | Sweden:15 (DVD rating) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1989)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The light levels in the British Museum were insufficient to allow Hitchcock to film the final chase scene in the museum. Without informing the producer, Alfred Hitchcock used the Schufftan process (developed by German cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan). This involved taking still photos of the interior of the museum, then reflecting the photos in a mirror with certain parts of the silvering of the mirror scraped away to allow people (entering a door, for example) to be filmed through the mirror so that they appeared to be present in the museum (in later years, American development of traveling matte and other process photography methods largely replaced the Shufftan process).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Alice's hair is different on multiple occasions on switching camera angle close-ups. Most noticeable when Crewe is attempting to assist Alice button the back of her dress...and in Scotland Yard right before Alice and Frank stroll down a long hallway.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Det. Frank Webber:Well, we finished earlier tonight than I expected.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Best Things in Life Are FreeSee more »

FAQ

Are the first eight minutes supposed to be silent?
Why are the picture and sound so bad?
Is this film really in the U.S. public domain?
See more »
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Remarkable piece of cinematic history, 25 March 2007
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan

Hitchcock's Blackmail might have been a total train wreck in the hands of a lesser talent. Instead, it is a remarkable piece of cinematic history, and still tremendously entertaining after 78 years. The film was partly shot when Hitchcock learned that he would have access to sound equipment. His female lead was a talented German silent picture actress, whose accent was too heavy for sound, so an off-camera reader had to be used, plus a decent amount of expensive film had already been used and had to be integrated into the 'talkie' as well.

All considered, the movie is probably the best example of the transition from these two cinematic paradigms that can be found.

The silent portion of the film establishes John Longden's character as a hard-nosed young Scotland Yard detective. Anny Ondra plays the lovely young lady who is engaged to him,and who soon becomes the center of our attention. One night after they argue over some petty matters, they part company and Anny meets up with a male artist friend, who, unbeknownst to her, is interested in more than just pleasant conversation. Frank (Longden) spots them leaving the restaurant and follows them for a while. The artist coaxes Alice (Ondra) up to his flat, and things take a sinister turn in short order.

Over the second half of the film, the plots unfolds, and the emotions and consciences of the protagonists are sorely tried.

What immediately blew my mind was what a great silent director Hitchcock was. Shouldn't have been too surprising since Hitchcock has always struck me as a master cinematographer. The first 20 minutes of the film are completely silent,and there are no interruptions from distracting story boards. Nevertheless, through incredible use of lighting, camera work, and evocative acting, you understand everything that is going on clearly, and are drawn straight into the edgy atmosphere so familiar to those who appreciate the work of this great director.

The acting is mostly very good. Only Longden sometimes seems to over or under-act his part, and Ondra is really wonderful all the way through. I was not surprised to learn of her lengthy and productive career both before and after this film and will now look for more of her work.It is also interesting to see how the actors adapted so readily to the new medium. Although some have said that the sound portion of this film seemed over-acted because the actors were still clinging to silent film conventions, I really can not agree. Some of the characters (Alice, for example) required very evocative, rather physical performances, and I can't imagine how she could have done better.

Highly recommended for the amazing photography, exceptionally professional though very early use of sound, and the typically perfect pace.

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KNIFE! blablabla...KNIFE! blablabla...KNIFE!!! manferot
This movie should be more famous picasso2
Dreadful. dinosaurs-will_die
Sound vs. silent ancientnut
How did the Blackmailer get the other Glove? mikegrijak
Fingerprints ddaanntt
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