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Blackmail (1929)

Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller | 6 October 1929 (USA)
After killing a man in self-defense, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Charles Bennett (from the play by), Alfred Hitchcock (adapted by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Harvey Braban ... The Chief Inspector (sound version)
Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop ... The Detective Sergeant (as Ex-Det. Sergt. Bishop - Late C.I.D. Scotland Yard)
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Storyline

Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night, Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas, and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else, and blackmail is threatened. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Powerful Talking Picture See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chantaje See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2012 restoration) (silent)

Sound Mix:

Mono (R.C.A. Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a documentary on Hitchcock's British films on the BBC, the cameramen found it rather difficult to shoot any scenes whilst being confined inside a huge box (this had to be done so that the sounds of the cameras rolling wouldn't be heard). One cameraman described how it became so warm inside the box and that other people would produce flatulence at the time. See more »

Goofs

When Alice first asks Crewe to button the dress, her hands are behind her back holding the dress. In the next shot, her hands are on her hips. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Det. Frank Webber: Well, we finished earlier tonight than I expected.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally filmed as a silent movie, running 75 minutes; Hitchcock later added newly shot scenes and had other existing footage dubbed to create a talkie version, running 86 minutes. See more »


Soundtracks

Sonny Boy
(1928) (uncredited)
by Al Jolson Buddy G. DeSylva Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Whistled by John Longden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hitchcock's guilty woman
10 August 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

A common motif in Alfred Hitchcock's movies is the guilty woman: "Blackmail", "Psycho" and "The Birds" are all prime examples. In "Blackmail", Alice White (Anny Ondra) goes home with an artist one night and he tries to rape her. She murders him, and from then on everything reminds her of it. The jester painting appears to be looking at her (or she at it?), a billboard looks like a knife, and a woman keeps uttering the word knife. But in the end, everything blows up in Alice's face.

Hitch was certainly showing his chops here. The camera angles, scenery, and other such things all combined to make what we would expect in a Hitchcock movie. I try to imagine being a moviegoer in 1929 watching "Blackmail" for the first time, wondering what Hitchcock's subsequent work would be like.


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