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Blackmail (1929)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, 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:

Hold everything till you've heard this one! (Trade paper ad). See more »


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 Crewe begins to walk upstairs with Alice, his coat is tucked under his left arm. However, as he continues upstairs, his coat is suddenly draped over his right arm. 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

The Best Things in Life Are Free
(1927) (uncredited)
Written by Buddy G. DeSylva Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Whistled by Donald Calthrop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hitchock's First Talkie
30 July 2017 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock's first talkie is an intriguing film, not entirely successful but still more enjoyable than some of the other films Hitch made around this time. The story starts with a woman cheating on her boyfriend, a Scotland Yard detective. When the man she's with tries to rape her, she kills him in self-defense. Afterwards a criminal who pieces it together blackmails her and her detective boyfriend.

A little creaky but that's to be expected under the circumstances. The film started out being made as a silent before it was decided to turn it into a sound picture. In spots it reverts back to a silent (without intertitles). This actually works in the film's favor. There are some really nicely done lengthy sequences with no dialogue, such as her walk home after she's killed the guy, punctuated by a scream. Good acting all around. Nice direction from Hitch. The museum climax is excellent; an early example of the defining set pieces that would become a Hitchcock trademark. Definitely worth a look if you're a fan. Or even if you're not, provided you enjoy pictures from this period. Not everyone does, unfortunately.


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