Blackout ()

Contraband (original title)
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Early in World War II, Danish sea captain Andersen, delayed in a British port, tangles with German spies.


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Cast verified as complete

Capt. Andersen
Mrs. Sorensen
Hay Petrie ...
Axel Skold / Erik Skold
Joss Ambler ...
Lt. Cmdr. Ashton, RNR
Raymond Lovell ...
Van Dyne
Mr. Pidgeon
Charles Victor ...
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)
Hamilton Keene ...
Fourth Danish Waiter (as Hamilton Keen)
First Brother Grimm
Stuart Latham ...
Second Brother Grimm
Third Brother Grimm
Dennis Arundell ...
Molly Hamley-Clifford ...
Baroness Hekla
Eric Berry ...
Mr. Abo
Olga Edwardes ...
Mrs. Abo
Toni Gable ...
Miss Karoly
Desmond Jeans ...
First Karoly
Eric Hales ...
Second Karoly
J.P. Roberts ...
Hanson (as John Roberts)
Manning Whiley ...
Manager of 'Mousetrap'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cigarette Girl (scenesDeleted)
Frank Allenby ...
Undetermined Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Erik Skold's Niece (uncredited)
Albert Chevalier ...
Cloakroom Attendant (uncredited)
Mark Daly ...
Taxi Driver (uncredited)
John England ...
Erik ...
Spaniel (uncredited)
Cameron Hall ...
Naval Officer (uncredited)
Haddon Mason ...
Man Lighting Pipe (uncredited)
Air Raid Warden (uncredited)
Man in Car (uncredited)
Duncan Ross ...
Johnnie Schofield ...
Waiter at the Cab Drivers Shelter (uncredited)
Man in Club (uncredited)
Paddy Smith ...
Waiter (uncredited)
Spangle ...
Spaniel (uncredited)
Sailor (uncredited)
Townsend Whitling ...
Ben Williams ...
Man Selling Torches (uncredited)

Directed by

Michael Powell

Written by

Emeric Pressburger ... (original story & screenplay)
Michael Powell ... (scenario) and
Brock Williams ... (scenario)

Produced by

John Corfield ... producer
Roland Gillett ... associate producer

Music by

Richard Addinsell ... (as Richard Addinsel)
John Greenwood

Cinematography by

Freddie Young ... (as F.A. Young)

Film Editing by

John Seabourne Sr. ... (as John Seabourne)

Costume Design by

Raemonde Rahvis ... (uncredited)

Production Management

Anthony Nelson Keys ... production manager

Art Department

Alfred Junge ... settings

Sound Department

C.C. Stevens ... sound recordist
A.W. Watkins ... sound recordist
John W. Mitchell ... boom operator (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Skeets Kelly ... camera operator (uncredited)

Music Department

Muir Mathieson ... musical director

Other crew

Hedley Briggs ... designer & executor: "White Negro" Cabaret
Betty Curtis ... production secretary (uncredited)
George Mills ... production assistant (uncredited)
Joan Page ... production secretary (uncredited)
Bill Paton ... assistant: Mr Powell (uncredited)
Phyllis Ross ... continuity (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies

  • Ministry of Economic Warfare (British National Films acknowledge with grateful thanks the co-operation of, without whose wholehearted assistance this picture could not have been made)
  • Ministry of Information (British National Films acknowledge with grateful thanks the co-operation of, without whose wholehearted assistance this picture could not have been made)
  • The Admiralty (British National Films acknowledge with grateful thanks the co-operation of, without whose wholehearted assistance this picture could not have been made)


Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
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! See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Blackout (United States)
  • Espionne à bord (France)
  • Espías en el mar (Spain)
  • Kontraband (Czechoslovakia)
  • Ratni krijumcari (Yugoslavia, Serbian title)
  • See more »
  • 92 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget GBP47,000 (estimated)

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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Michael Powell (1986). See more »
Soundtracks Face in the Crowd See more »
Crazy Credits "White Negro" caberet designed & executed by Hedley Briggs. 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 »

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