7.0/10
839
21 user 9 critic

Blackout (1940)

Contraband (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Romance | 29 November 1940 (USA)
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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A German submarine is sent to the Orkney Isles in 1917 to sink the British fleet.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Sebastian Shaw
Hour of Glory (1949)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Germans drop explosive booby-traps on Britain in 1943, the embittered expert who'll have to disarm them fights a private battle with alcohol.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Alexander Korda's bit for the British war effort shows the world both at peace and on the verge of Nazi domination. Spliced together to form a documentary style film of both newsreel and ... See full summary »

Directors: Adrian Brunel, Brian Desmond Hurst, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Merle Oberon, Ralph Richardson, June Duprez
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price
49th Parallel (1941)
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A World War II U-boat crew are 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Grenadier Guards Captain John Fellowes prepares for the Trooping the Colour ceremony and reminisces about his years at Sandhurst Military Academy as well as his family's dramatic life.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Daniel Massey, Raymond Massey, Robert Stephens
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A re-editing of Gone to Earth (1950) after a disagreement and court case between director Michael Powell and producer David O. Selznick. Selznick's changes are mainly:- (1) Adding a ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Niven, Margaret Leighton, Cyril Cusack
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Gone to Earth (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A beautiful, superstitious, animal-loving Gypsy is hotly desired by a fox-hunting squire...even after she marries a clergyman.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Honeymoon (1959)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Australian famer Kit Kelly and his new bride Anna are driving through Europe when they help a stranded motorist. They discover he is Antonio, a famous dancer. Upon learning that Anna was a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Anthony Steel, Ludmilla Tchérina, Antonio
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

"Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) is the pseudonym adopted by Dr Falke. Floating on the buoyant waltzes of Strauss, this Viennese romp is sure to please. Disguises, tricks and every kind of ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Anthony Quayle, Anton Walbrook, Dennis Price
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
Sidney Monckton ...
Third Danish Waiter (as Sydney Moncton)
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:

Not Rated | 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

When Michael Powell and the crew went on location to Ramsgate (Eastgate in the film), they sent all their luggage and equipment in cases boldly marked "Contraband". Luckily the local wartime Contraband Controllers saw the funny side and when they arrived at the hotel they found their cases had stamps and stencils all over them saying things like "Explosives", "Examined", "Condemned". See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Ashton, RNR: We've seized your cargo. It's contraband.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Spies (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Danish Song
(uncredited)
Written by John Greenwood
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Enjoyable Wartime Cat-and-mouse Intrigue
18 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Contraband" has been frequently compared to the works of Hitchcock, which is no surprise. There is an air of suspense and danger as the two main characters, Captain Andersen (Conrad Veidt) and Mrs. Sorensen (Valerie Hobson), traverse a British city in the darkness of a wartime blackout. The viewer is asked to accompany them, never quite knowing what forces are at play or who are the "good guys". The film also feels a little like "Casablanca", with shadowy, nefarious forces at work while the couple is drawn together emotionally.

Also, like Hitchcock, there is a very playful side to the action. The manners of society are observed while threatening subtexts are played out. Andersen and Sorensen, likewise--in the early part of the film--play a cat-and-mouse game that is enjoyable to watch.

The mechanics of the plot don't seem to matter much, like one of Hitchcock's McGuffins, and the photography seems more about style than substance. Filmed in B&W, of course, the story slinks in and out of darkened passageways, foggy ports and backrooms.

This film is a lot of fun to watch, especially if one just enjoys the action without trying to decipher the finer points of the intrigue.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?