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Billboard (1929) - New Films Caught in New York: "Blackmail"





Lacking all the fancy photography and distracting features that visually accompany a foreign-made production, Blackmail proves to be one of the best pictures that has yet been imported to America. Except for a few minutes of a slow beginning the picture holds its audience with a dramatic intensity that few American productions during the current season have equaled.

The story of Blackmail is that of a detective's sweetheart who performs the indiscretion of going to an artist's apart-mant late at night. The artist is killed after attacking the girl, who has stabbed him with a knife. A blackmailer enters the picture, and he later turns out to be the real murderer, so the piece ends with the detective and his girl friend happily together.

The direction of Alfred Hitchcock is inconsistent in parts, with a letter left to the artist which the police read several times without letting the audience know its contents, but, as a whole, the job is very well done. The recording thruout is excellent and American producers could learn a lesson from this production, which will prove a howling success in any theater in which it is played.