- Alfred Hitchcock
- Anny Ondra & John Longden
By the time Hitchcock finished editing Blackmail in 1929, the first talkie, Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, had been released. Suddenly commercially obsolete, it was decided to reshoot scenes with sound, dub dialogues, and add music and sound effects. In the end, both the silent and sound versions were released, but the earlier silent version is widely considered more compelling. The film’s plot concerns a beautiful woman and her fiancé, a Scotland Yard detective. She flirts with another man who takes her to his apartment and attempts to have his way with her. She stabs him to death and flees but tells no one what has happened. Then she’s hit with two additional shocks. First, her fiancé is assigned to investigate the homicide. Then, an acquaintance of the dead man who was hanging around the apartment building when the killing occurred, starts blackmailing the young woman. The film’s theme of the elusive boundary between innocence and guilt suggest Hitchcock’s later work in Vertigo and Notorious. A restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL. Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142, Pia Getty, Col & Karen Needham, and the Dr Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation.