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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   6,393 votes »
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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:
The Powerful Talking Picture See more »
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:
NewsDesk:
(62 articles)
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User Reviews:
Hitchcock artfully enters the era of talking pictures See more (75 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)

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:
Much of the film was originally shot silent; when sound became available during the course of shooting, director Alfred Hitchcock re-shot certain scenes with sound, thus making it the Master of Suspense's first talkie. There was one complication with this change, however. Leading lady Anny Ondra had a thick German accent which was inappropriate to her character, Alice White. Joan Barry was chosen to provide a different voice for her, but post-production dubbing technology did not exist then. The solution was for Barry to stand just out of shot and read Alice's lines into a microphone as Ondry mouthed them in front of the camera. This is generally acknowledged as the first instance of one actor's voice being dubbed by another, even though the word "dub" is technologically inappropriate in this case.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When the artist is talking to Alice (Anny Ondra), he calls her Annie at one point, before correcting himself.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 »
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Hitchcock artfully enters the era of talking pictures, 9 December 2009
Author: calvinnme from United States

This film may .not hold up among Hitchcock's great films from his golden years of 1948 through 1963, but compare it to any other talking picture from 1929 and then tell me what you think.

The fact is, this film is shot part silent. Yes there is sound, but there is no synchronized dialogue until about ten minutes into the film when the police detective and his girlfriend who are the central characters speak to one another. Shooting the film primarily silent with synchronized effects and leaving the talking sequences for segments of the film where dialogue was necessary and then having the judgment to know how much dialogue was enough and stop at that point was something Hitchcock got from the beginning. Watch some of the long-winded speeches from some other 1929 films and realize that many of Hitchcock's contemporaries struggled with this skill.

The story is a good one. Alice is feeling neglected by her police detective boyfriend, and follows a handsome artist up to his flat. After some flirting the artist turns suddenly violent and assaults her. She defends herself by grabbing a knife and stabbing the man. Stunned and sure she has not been seen by anyone entering the man's flat, she attempts to erase all signs of her presence there and returns home. She mentions the incident to no one, but is weighted down with guilt.

Frank, Alice's boyfriend, investigates the crime scene and sees Alice's glove. He confiscates it. Unfortunately, someone else who is not Alice has the other glove. The lovers don't discuss anything but the threat of the blackmailer until the end of the film. Like many of Hitchcock's later works, much of his art is in furtive glances and in objects that recall the crime rather than specific dialogue. An example of this is a jester in the artist's painting that Alice sees as pointing at her and thus accusing her. The jester meets Alice's eye both immediately after the crime and at the end of the film.

Highly recommended as one of the best talking pictures of 1929, but I am yet to find a satisfactory copy on DVD anywhere.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (75 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Blackmail (1929)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Portrays the police as oppressive dave_wlogan
This movie should be more famous picasso2
KNIFE! blablabla...KNIFE! blablabla...KNIFE!!! manferot
Dreadful. dinosaurs-will_die
Sound vs. silent ancientnut
How did the Blackmailer get the other Glove? mikegrijak
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