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Blackout (1940)

Contraband (original title)
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 »
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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)
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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:

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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
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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

Captain Anderson: The bigger the ship, the smaller the adventure. The smaller the ship, the bigger the adventure. But you wouldn't understand that. Because you have childish ideas about life. Because like so many women you live only for little excitements like, er...
Mrs.Sorensen: Like what?
Captain Anderson: Well, like going out every night, somewhere new, somebody new. Right?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Marvelous light-hearted spy adventure
12 April 2000 | by (Boulder, Colorado, USA) – See all my reviews

The plot is well paced and fun, although a bit convoluted. But, Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson are the hidden pleasures in this film. She's beautiful and witty. He's tall (very), handsome, and debonaire. Together they're very sexy: their relationship here is reminiscent of that of William Powell and Myrna Loy in the Thin Man and Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North-By-Northwest. The scene in which they break the bonds in which the villains have tied them is wonderfully erotic. Above all, Contraband demonstrates how film makers (outside of Powell and Pressberger) missed the boat in not taking advantage of Veidt's sophisticated persona, understated acting skills, and comedic flair.


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