Blackmail

1929

Blackmail

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,717
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Movie Info

Alfred Hitchcock's first sound film utilized the new sound technology in a rather creative way off-camera. Hitchcock's lead actress, Anny Ondra, had a strong Eastern European accent that was difficult for English audiences to understand, so Hitchcock's solution was to have British actress Joan Barry speak Ondra's lines of dialogue off-camera. The film concerns a woman who kills a man who tries to assault her. Ondra plays Alice White who, while having dinner in a fancy English nightspot with her husband-to-be Scotland Yard Detective Frank Webber (John Longden), begins to flirt with an artist (Cyril Richard) seated at the next table. The artist invites her up to see his studio, and she goes but balks when the artist asks her to pose in the nude. When the request becomes a demand, Alice stabs him to death. She rejoins her fiance and tries to forget the murder, but her conscience keeps bothering her. To make matters worse, sniveling rat Tracy (Donald Calthrop) materializes to blackmail Alice for the crime.

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Critic Reviews for Blackmail

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Blackmail

  • Apr 19, 2012
    This film being from 1929 is the oldest movie I've seen in my life. It was one of Hitches early works and it was pretty good. Yes it was hard not to be bored at times but with an old movie like this you have to accept that if it happens. The story was mediocre but it was still so well paced it could give you the chill, especially that final scene.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2011
    The master in his early days. Even for his first talkie, his visual style is just as brilliant in 1929 as it would be in later years. Whether it be the use of a curtain to disguise some foul play, his immaculate use of shadows, of the way his uses the lights to illuminate a characters overwhelming guilt, Hitch suggests more with a few frames than most directors do in an entire film. While the pacing isn't as streamlined as it would be in later films such as the 39 Steps, it is still fascinating to see just how ahead of his time he was even in the dawn of his career.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2010
    Nothing like a good Date-Rape movie. (Just Kidding). PS -Watch it for free on online ;)
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2010
    On the one hand, the story is very simple, but slow and dragged out, which is kind of annoying, and the nothing is really resolved the way it should. On the other hand this movie is visually interesting, much like later Hitchcock films, and it's one of the first sound films too. Overall, it's interesting to see, but the story could be a lot better.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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