MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,894 this week

Blackout (1940)
"Contraband" (original title)

7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 724 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 10 critic

Early in World War II, Danish sea captain Andersen, delayed in a British port, tangles with German spies.

Director:

Writers:

(original story & screenplay), (scenario), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 23 Oct 2010
 
a list of 40 titles
created 09 Sep 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 29 Jul 2012
 
a list of 1519 titles
created 13 Jan 2014
 
list image
a list of 49 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Blackout" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Blackout (1940)

Blackout (1940) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Blackout.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A 'Land Girl', an American GI, and a British soldier find themselves together in a small Kent town on the road to Canterbury. The town is being plagued by a mysterious "glue-man", who pours... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
49th Parallel (1941)
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A WW2 U-boat crew is stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Richard George
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Joan Webster is an ambitious and stubborn middle-class English woman determined to move forward since her childhood. She meets her father in a fancy restaurant to tell him that she will ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A true WW2 story: the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Ian Hunter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

William Penn's heroic deeds, on the European and American continents, are told in this portrait of the founding father of both the Quakers and the Pennsylvania colony. Based on C.E. Vulliamy's biography "William Penn."

Director: Lance Comfort
Stars: Clifford Evans, Deborah Kerr, Dennis Arundell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the Bela Bartok opera, Bluebeard woos his women and then swiftly disposes of them.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Norman Foster, Ana Raquel Satre
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Nino Culotta is an Italian immigrant who arrived in Australia with the promise of a job as a journalist on his cousin's magazine, only to find that when he gets there the magazine's folded,... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Walter Chiari, Claire Dunne, Chips Rafferty
Contraband (1933)
Certificate: Passed
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Raymond Wells
Stars: Don Alvarado, Dorothy Sebastian, Paul Ellis
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A lighthouse keeper has been murdered in mysterious circumstances and, during the ensuing investigation a Phantom Light keeps appearing at the scene of his death.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Binnie Hale, Gordon Harker, Donald Calthrop
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Captains John Fellows and Henry Wynne-Walton finish their Army training at Sandhurst Military Academy and are sent to the Middle-East. John is to lead a parachute battalion while Henry is ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Daniel Massey, Robert Stephens, Raymond Massey
Lazybones (1935)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Lazybones is an idle baronet. He hasn't a care in the world until his father cuts him off without a penny. He then meets an American heiress & marries her but finds she has been ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Ian Hunter, Claire Luce, Bernard Nedell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs.Sorensen
Hay Petrie ...
Axel Skold / Erik Skold
Joss Ambler ...
Lt. Cmdr. Ashton, RNR
Raymond Lovell ...
Van Dyne
...
Mr.Pidgeon
Charles Victor ...
Hendrick
Phoebe Kershaw ...
Miss Lang
Harold Warrender ...
Lt. Cmdr. Ellis, RN
...
Passport Officer
Eric Maturin ...
Passport Officer
Paddy Browne ...
Singer in 'Regency'
Henry Wolston ...
First Danish Waiter
Julian Vedey ...
Second Danish Waiter
Sydney Moncton ...
Third Danish Waiter
Edit

Storyline

This is the tale of life in a British port in the first year of World War II. Spies and smugglers abound in the blackout and unreal shore life of the "phoney war" (before the shooting started). Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stop that man and woman! His mission is deadlier than that of the enemy in the sky. Her beauty is a dangerous weapon of war!

Genres:

Adventure | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blackout  »

Box Office

Budget:

£47,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The British destroyer shown several times early in the movie, marked with the hull number "H11", was HMS Basilisk. She was sunk by air attack off Dunkirk on 1 June 1940. See more »

Quotes

Mrs.Sorensen: Did you ever try being married? That can be quite a big adventure.
Captain Anderson: [sighs] Why do women always say that? Marriage ends adventure.
Mrs.Sorensen: [copies sigh] Why do men always say that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

"White Negro" caberet designed & executed by Hedley Briggs. See more »

Connections

References Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Face in the Crowd
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Addinsell
Lyrics by Nicholas Phipps
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
CONTRABAND (Michael Powell, 1940) ***1/2
10 November 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is a follow-up to THE SPY IN BLACK (1939) - utilizing the same director, writer and stars - and even better! It's described as a Hitchcockian comedy-thriller - though still every bit an "Archers" product - which only goes to show that the Master Of Suspense lost something by going to the US (the English films being more deliberately stylized); the second of 5 collaborations by the Powell/Pressburger team designed as propaganda for the war effort - each more ambitious and uncharacteristic of the typical British effort than the one before!

It's fast-paced and plot-packed, with several marvelous suspense scenes, but also excellent characterization all around - and a splendid cast: Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson are supported by a wonderful dual role from Hay Petrie, Esmond Knight, and even early villainous turns by Leo Genn and Peter Bull (dubbed "The Brothers Grimm" by Veidt's Captain Hans Andersen!) - with bits by Torin Thatcher and an especially nice one involving Bernard Miles; The Archers also take care to provide the chief villain (played by Raymond Lovell) with a speech impediment - though not as a means of ridiculing him.

The London locations (shot by the great Freddie Young) are superbly deployed - given an extra Expressionist edge by being largely set during a blackout (actually, the film's title in the US). The Archers would come to be known for their occasional drop in taste, already evident here in an interracial cabaret number entitled "White Negro"! The terrific climax involves a chase intercut with a free-for-all.

I had long wanted to purchase the R1 DVD but kept postponing it due to the utter lack of extras and the prohibitive price (only managing to get it through Deep Discount's recent sale on Kino products!); still, the transfer is disappointing (and yet the only way the film is available for the moment!): bright, soft and probably PAL sourced (given that the running time is only 87 minutes against the official 92

  • the sleeve notes thus making the mistake of stating that it's 8


minutes, rather than 12, longer than the version originally shown in the US!).


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
On the Big Screen! MissMcCrocodile
Toast paul_hutschemaekers
Deborah Kerr dan-2288
Canteen Con atlasmb
Illogical? Charlot47
Discuss Blackout (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?