Movie. Blackmail, 1929.

Posted by T on September 27, 2006
By Title, Movies

This movie began as a silent, then the producers decided to switch to sound. Some scenes are still silent or pseudo-silent (voices without need to lip sync). But one can watch it as comfortably as a normal talkie, as most of the scenes, and all the critical ones, have normal voice.

Thus, Hitchcock aficionados will want to see this as Hitchcock’s first talkie.

It is a marvel of writing, in showing the setting, the incident, the blackmail, and the resolution all in less than an hour and a half. And that includes lots of atmospheric throw-away scenes.

The story exemplifies the observation of Rushdoony, that guilt makes someone like a leaky vessel, where all resources must be devoted to repairing the breach.

The seduction scene which leads to the “incident” is excessively voyeuristic and suggestive. It is for this reason only that I give it a 0 rating. But for those whose sanctification permits them to watch modern “R” rated movies without harmful effect (I’m not sure I can include myself in that category), this is actually a very good story.

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