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Information

Year
1929
Runtime
85 min.
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Genres
Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rating *
6.9
Votes *
6,760
Checks
2,846
Favs
106
Dislikes
15
Favs/checks
3.7% (1:27)
Favs/dislikes
7:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. fragilelabyrinth's avatar

    fragilelabyrinth

    Hitchcock filmed the silent and talkie versions simultaneously. Personally, I prefer the silent version. In the talkie, because of her czech accent, Anny Ondra had to be dubbed live while filming, stunting her performance a bit.

    Also this has my favorite (and longest) Hitchcock cameo about 10 minutes in!
    10 years 7 months ago
  2. akira7's avatar

    akira7

    This film has two releases, a silent version and soundtracked dialog. However, it was shot to be silent, and only later did the studio request voices be recorded to meet the demands of the times. 11 years 2 months ago
  3. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Britain's first talkie, Blackmail has Hitchcock start production as if it were a silent film, then makes an about-face that you can sort of spot, and its silent film heritage is where its weaknesses lie. Anny Ondra, as a woman weighed down by guilt after she kills a man, is definitely acting in that mold, which is to say over-emoting. And the dialog can be, overall, a little slow, in order to match lips to looped sound (and by looped, I mean on-set simul-recording). That said, it's hard to imagine parts of this film as silent, hinging as it does on key conversations, like the blackmail negotiation. (Not to say most of it is quite visual, of course, but even the visual fixation on the knife is supported by sound here.) But even at this early juncture, Hitchcock is still creating potent tension builders, most cleverly in just WHO will be blackmailed and WHY - the answer keeps changing. Hitch also gives us an early chase through a landmark to a vertiginous spot, which would not only become one of his personal tropes, but eventually become a cliched element in 75% of action movies. 2 months 3 weeks ago
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In 7 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #44 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    44
  2. This movie ranks #60 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
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    BFI's 360 Classic Featur…

    60
  3. This movie ranks #61 in Time Out's The 100 Best British Films
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    Time Out's The 100 Best …

    61
  4. This movie ranks #82 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
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    David Thomson's Have You…

    82
  5. This movie ranks #91 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    91
  6. This movie ranks #121 in Paul Rotha's Silent but Not Forgotten
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    Paul Rotha's Silent but …

    121
  7. This movie ranks #1042 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    1042
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