Review: ‘Blackmail’

Blackmail is most draggy. It has no speed or pace and very little suspense. Everything's open-face. It's a story [from the play by Charles Bennett] that has been told in different disguises - the story of a girl who kills a man trying to assault her.

Blackmail is most draggy. It has no speed or pace and very little suspense. Everything’s open-face. It’s a story [from the play by Charles Bennett] that has been told in different disguises – the story of a girl who kills a man trying to assault her.

The girl, Anny Ondra, leaves a very lively scene in one of the Lyons feederies after flirting with a stranger and airing her steady, a regular Scotland Yard dick, to join the other half of the flirtation. The other half lives near the cigar store of her father, and asks the girl upstairs to see his studio, he being an artist. She foolishly assents, and then follows the jam.

In performance the standout is Donald Calthrop as the rat crook. He looks it. Ondra is excellent as the girl.

Dialog is ordinary but sufficient. Camera- work rather well, especially on the British Museum [in the chase finale] and the eating house scenes. A bit of comedy here and there, but not enough to be called relief.

Blackmail

UK

Production

British International. Director Alfred Hitchcock; Producer John Maxwell; Screenplay Alfred Hitchcock, Ben W. Levy, Charles Bennett; Camera Jack Cox; Editor Emile de Ruelle; Music Hubert Bath, Henry Stafford (arr.); Art Director Wilfred C. Arnold, Norman Arnold

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Anny Ondra Sara Allgood Charles Paton Donald Calthrop John Longden Cyril Ritchard
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