We have started a Patreon page with the hopes that some of our followers would be willing to donate a small amount to keep DVDBeaver alive. We are a tiny niche, so your generosity is vital to our existence.

We are talking about a minimum of $0.10 - $0.15 a day, perhaps a quarter (or more) to those who won't miss it from their budget. It equates to buying DVDBeaver a coffee once, twice or a few times a month. You can then participate in our monthly Silent auctions, and have exclusive access to many 'bonus' High Resolution screen captures - both 4K UHD and Blu-ray (see HERE).

To those that are unfamiliar, Patreon is a secure/verified third-party service where users can agree to a monthly donation via credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hitchcock.htm
UK 1929

 

From the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary director of Notorious, Lifeboat, North by Northwest and Psycho comes this thriller about a woman fighting off a sleazy blackmailer. Blackmail was Hitchcock’s first full-length sound film and was only his second foray into the suspense genre. Grocer’s daughter Alice White (Anny Ondra, The Manxman) kills a man in self-defense when he tries to sexually assault her. Her policeman boyfriend, Detective Frank Webber (John Longden, The Skin Game), covers up for her, but she has been spotted leaving the scene by a petty criminal who starts to blackmail her. Based on a play by Charles Bennett (Foreign Correspondent, The 39 Steps) and co-starring Sara Allgood (The Lodger).

***

Alfred Hitchcock's first sound film utilized the new sound technology in a rather creative way off-camera. Hitchcock's lead actress, Anny Ondra, had a strong Eastern European accent that was difficult for English audiences to understand, so Hitchcock's solution was to have British actress Joan Barry speak Ondra's lines of dialogue off-camera. The film concerns a woman who kills a man who tries to assault her. Ondra plays Alice White who, while having dinner in a fancy English nightspot with her husband-to-be Scotland Yard Detective Frank Webber (John Longden), begins to flirt with an artist (Cyril Richard) seated at the next table. The artist invites her up to see his studio, and she goes but balks when the artist asks her to pose in the nude. When the request becomes a demand, Alice stabs him to death. She rejoins her fiance and tries to forget the murder, but her conscience keeps bothering her. To make matters worse, sniveling rat Tracy (Donald Calthrop) materializes to blackmail Alice for the crime.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: July 28th, 1929

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Laserlight - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

  

Distribution Laserlight - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:01          Silent: 1:16:07.396  / Talkies: 1:25:47.851
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,909,036,961 bytes

Silent: 20,682,842,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.85 Mbps

Talkie: 22,180,282,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.92 Mbps

 

1080P Sing-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,143,055,801 bytes

Talkie 1.20:1: 22,049,992,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.73 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Silent Version Blu-ray:

Bitrate Talkie Version Blu-ray:

Bitrate Talkie 1:20:1 Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary (on Talkies):

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Laserlight

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 200
8
Double-lock Keep Case 
Chapters: 17

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,909,036,961 bytes

Silent: 20,682,842,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.85 Mbps

Talkie: 22,180,282,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.92 Mbps

 

1080P Sing-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,143,055,801 bytes

Talkie 1.20:1: 22,049,992,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.73 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
Hitchcock/Truffaut: Icon interviews Icon (Audio) (10:27)
The Silent Version of ‘Blackmail’ Score by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Introduction by Noël Simsolo (6:28)
Anny Ondra’s Screen Test (0:59)
Trailer (1:15)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 13th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (August 2019): Kino have transferred Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail to Blu-ray. It offers three version of the film; a Silent running 1-hour 16-minutes (with different sequences), and the subsequent hour 25-minute 'Talkie' versions with alternate sequences from the Silent). The first sharing the first Blu-ray with the Silent version and a second 1.20:1 aspect ratio version on a second single-layered Blu-ray. While the silent tends to look cleaner, and crisper, it is more faint. The 1.33:1 talkie version looks noticeably horizontally stretched and the 1.20:1 version seems far more pleasing with deeper black levels than the silent but also more damage revealed. I don't find many attributes of the 1.33:1 talkie version versus it's pillar-boxed counterpart. 

All Kino Blu-ray versions receive DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. The 'Silent has an often rousing score by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Dialogue, on the talkies, is at the mercy of the very early production limitations but sounds surprisingly strong and clear. It is the same on both 'talkie versions). The Silent has intertitles (see sample) while the talkies offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray talkies have an optional Tim Lucas commentary where he covers differences between the talkie and silent version - often extolling the silent. He also related information about Michael Powell's contribution, minor continuity errors and much more including The Master genius touches. It's at his usual proficient level and adds significant value and appreciation. There is also 10-minutes of audio-only Hitchcock/Truffaut: Icon interviews, a brief introduction by Noël Simsolo and footage of Anny Ondra’s screen test with Hitch alongside. There is a trailer for the film and other trailers.

Blackmail is a fascinating film and it is wonderful to have both versions (and two very, visually, different versions of the Talkie) This package has so much value with the Lucas commentary and the immense re-watch-ability. This Kino Blu-ray gets our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Laserlight - Region 0 - NTSC

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Intertitles - Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Subtitle Sample Kino (Talkies)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) Laserlight (Silent) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Universal /Arthaus (Silent) - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Universal /Arthaus (Talk) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Laserlight (Silent) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Universal /Arthaus (Silent) - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Universal /Arthaus (Talk) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Laserlight (Silent) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Universal /Arthaus (Silent) - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Universal /Arthaus (Talk) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Laserlight (Silent) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Universal /Arthaus (Silent) - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Universal /Arthaus (Talk) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Laserlight (Silent) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Universal /Arthaus (Silent) - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Universal /Arthaus (Talk) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal (Talkie)- Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Kinowelt (sound)- Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino (Talkiie)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (Talkiie 1.20:1)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More Kino (Silent)- Region 'A' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Box Cover

  

  

Distribution Laserlight - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!