The Golden Age of Hollywood

Alfred Hitchcock Fans


Alfred Hitchcock Fans

Come and discuss films of the great director, Alfred Hitchcock.

Members: 116
Latest Activity: Jul 18, 2018

Hitchcock Fans

Scarlett Johanssen & Javier Bardem recreating a scene from "Rear Window" (from a Vanity Fair Hitchcock spread)

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Comment by Paco Malo on July 27, 2011 at 3:58pm
Great review, Dave. You're raising the bar for all us.
Comment by Dave the Movie Guy on July 27, 2011 at 3:35pm

Blackmail was Alfred Hitchcock's first sound film, released by British International Pictures, and according to promotional material was the "first full length all talkie film made in Great Britain".  The first time I saw this film I thought it actually was a silent film but was very surprised when the characters began speaking.  The first few minutes are a little misleading because there is only a soundtrack with some special effects sounds.  Speaking of soundtrack the music is provided courtesy of the British International Symphony Orchestra. 


Classic Hitchcock suspense and style is evident in the opening minutes of the film with the use of extraordinary camera angles and imagery, as a criminal sees the image of the police in the doorway of his apartment reflected off of a candlestick while he nervously contemplates reaching for a pistol.  More of the master's style is displayed as he demonstrates the passage of time during a police interrogation not with the spinning hands of a clock as any other director would, but with the accumulation of cigarette butts in an ashtray.


The heart of the story begins as "Alice White" (Anny Ondra) waits at Scotland Yard for her fiancé "Detective Frank Webber" (John Longdon) to finish his shift.  She half-heartedly accepts his invitation for a date and suggests they go to a restaurant rather than go to a movie.  What Frank didn't know was that Alice secretly wanted to meet someone else at that restaurant at the same time.  After a brief argument Frank leaves and stops outside to cool off a bit, but as he's standing there he notices Alice leave with another man, an artist (Cyril Ritchard) who lives near Alice.  While walking Alice home the artist lures her up to his apartment and tries to take advantage of her.  Alice fights back and while defending herself stabs the artist killing him.  She escapes and wanders the streets dazed before she returns home where she lives with her parents (Sara Allgood, Charles Paton).


Frank is assigned to the murder case and it doesn't take him long to determine that the man that was killed is the same man that was with Alice earlier, and that she is involved with the crime.  But a local career criminal and hoodlum named "Tracy" (Donald Calthrop) also suspects Alice's involvement and, after seeing her speaking to Frank, decides to blackmail the two of them.  Everything goes along smoothly for Tracy until Hitchcock tosses one of his trademark wrenches into the works.  Of course everything builds to a fever pitch and ends with a climactic chase through the British Museum


Anny Ondra just seems to glow when she's on screen, she is just beautiful.  She was also in Hitchcock's The Manxman (1929).  Cyril Ritchard starred as "Captain Hook" opposite Mary Martin's Peter Pan (1960).  And Sara Allgood appeared in many films including How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Spiral Staircase (1946), and Cluny Brown (1946).

This is a great film and probably one of my top five Hitchcock films.  He had made probably a dozen or so films before Blackmail and we can see that he had already begun his longtime fascination with choosing blondes as leading ladies.  Don't forget to watch for his quick cameo appearance a few minutes into the film.  If you're not familiar with Hitchcock's early work, this is a perfect film to start out with and get acquainted with the master.

Comment by FilmFanatic on February 8, 2011 at 4:15pm
i watched Rebecca last night for the first time in quite a long time. i cannot believe how much that movie still has me on pins and needles. i know the movie and the story inside and out by heart and i still get goose bumps and get nervous. Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, and Judith Anderson were perfectly cast as their characters they truly make the movie and the story so amazing. the scene that made me fall in love with film and Hitchcock is when Maxim is explaining the night Rebecca died and the camera follows his words as he explains the woman's movements. as i said in my first post Rebecca is the movie where i fully undertsood what makes Hitchcock so brilliant and one of the greatest directors ever.
Comment by Bryan James on January 2, 2011 at 5:58am

Hitchcock's Women, with Tippi Hedren



Listen on BBC's Radio 4

Comment by raed hosny on December 28, 2010 at 10:35pm

thanks a lot for establishing this group , he is a real Legend of Cenima ,

Comment by FilmFanatic on December 16, 2010 at 11:25pm

within the past three years i have become a very big Hitchcock fan. i had always heard of Hitchcock and Psycho but i had never seen any of his movies until i became a fan of Ingrid Bergman and i bought Notorious and Spellbound. it wasn't until i bought Rebecca that i fully understood why Hitchcock is considered so brilliant and amazing. my favorite of his movies are Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, Dial M For Murder, Strangers on a Train, Rope, The Wrong Man, and To Catch a Thief.

Comment by Robert ''Ricky'' Nunez on February 28, 2010 at 11:00pm
A while back my friend gave me 39 Steps The Criterion edition. I have not viewed the bonus features yet but will this coming week. I also need to buy Alfred Hitchcoock Presents 4th season. Also there are a few books I still need to buy like HITCHCOCK AT WORK. I enjoyed "A Life In Darkness And Light" biography . "Hitchcock Style", Charlotte Chanders "It's Only A Movie".
Comment by Kristine Sader on February 27, 2010 at 8:00pm
I would love to see the Broadway show also, and Ricky you are exactly right, each Hitchcock movie is different. You can't go wrong with Rear Window, 39 Steps,Vertigo and Notorious. He never fell into a rut, that is for sure!
Comment by Robert ''Ricky'' Nunez on February 27, 2010 at 1:31am
Rear Window, Foreign Correspondent, The Wrong Man, Notorious, Rope, Psycho are among my favorite Hitchcock films. Each is different from the next which is what I admired in Hitchcock as director.
Comment by Christopher on February 25, 2010 at 6:23pm
39 Steps is the Hitch I've seen the most,due mainly to it rampat screening on TV over the many years due to its public domain status..I never get tired of it..few things bring an instant smile on my face than the music that summons Mr. Memory on stage..I love the scene with John Laurie at the Crofters cottage..Its all fun tho...I'd love to see the hit Broadway play based on this movie..It was(is) quite a sucess!....Vertigo and Rear Window remain my top fave tho..

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