Blackmail (1929)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Thriller


Blackmail (1929) Poster

After killing a man in self-defense, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.

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7/10
8,615

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  • Blackmail (1929)
  • Charles Paton in Blackmail (1929)
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Anny Ondra in Blackmail (1929)
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Anny Ondra in Blackmail (1929)
  • Anny Ondra and Cyril Ritchard in Blackmail (1929)
  • Anny Ondra in Blackmail (1929)

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9 July 2011 | cstotlar-1
8
| Not a disappointment at all
I have seen most of Alfred Hitchcock's films, silent and talking, and was saving this one for a special occasion. It was really quite good and although over-rated despite being cited so often (along with Mamoulian's "Applause") as a successful example of the transition between the silents and talkies in all the references I've consulted, it still has some distinct good qualities of its own. Annie Ondra is an excellent silent actress and this among several other films proves it. Her accent was very strong, of course, and employing Joan Barry to "lip-synch" was genial. Francois Truffaut's interviews with Hitchcock about working with Ms Ondra were enough to stimulate anyone's appetite to see her (and to hear Joan Barry) at work. The music - at least in the beginning - is excessively burdensome and "busy" and frankly irritating. However, when the characters finally began dialogue, it calmed down considerably and actually worked out well until the ending. We're seeing a hybrid here: a talkie and a part-talkie. When the talking itself finally happens, the characters aren't even facing the camera but are photographed from behind! This is the famous Hitchcock we know and love in the heat of action. The view of the staircase is very Hitchockian as in "Vertigo" or "Psycho" as well as the chase in a public monument (North by Northwest" comes to mind). Yes, the director made the move to talking pictures quite fluently and fluidly. One should keep in mind, too, that the film had already been completed as a silent before being converted into a talkie! All the more to admire...

Curtis Stotlar

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Genres

Crime | Thriller

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