Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Blackmail" (1929)

The first ten minutes of Alfred Hitchcock's  Blackmail begin as a silent, as Scotland Yard catches a criminal. One of these, detective Frank Webber, meets his girlfriend Alice later that night. Their awkward dinner conveys Webber's lack of interest in Alice, so her late night date with another man remains no surprise. However, Alice walks away from this secret date a murderer, and the plot twists from there.

I am a fan of early talkies, and this one is one of the best I have seen. When the film transitioned from silent to talkie, I literally exclaimed, "whoa!" It would have made sense either way. Furthermore, I am fascinated with what a consistent and quality filmmaker Hitchcock always was. His early work maintains the same standards classics like "Psycho," "The Birds," "Rear Window," etc. have that make him legendary today.

And, as always when I review a Hitchcock film, this review ends prematurely because of what I do not want to reveal. It remains worth seeking out.



Shybiker said...

Thanks for the alert! I've never seen this and now plan to. I didn't know there was a Hitchcock film I've missed.

Artman2112 said...

i only saw this once many years ago but remember liking it and really need to give it another viewing. i recall some very interesting shots and use of sound which is not surprising, Hitch always embraced new technologies and loved the technical aspects of film making. i always find it facsinating to watch early talkies and see how the director rose to the challenge of the new medium or got swallowed up in it. some early talkies are an absolute chore to sit through, the camera seems chained to the floor and the actors sit around a table endlessly TALKING! then you have other films like All Quiet on the Western Front or Public Enemy where the film makers merely added sound to their repretiore of tools to tell the story.

Artman2112 said...

Francy i dont know if you have TCM where you live but on wednesday at 7:45 am they;re playing Paul Muni's first film "The Valiant"! just thought i'd give you a heads up :)