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Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929) was the first major British sound film.
Tom Ryall examines its unusual production history, and places it in the context of Hitchcock's other British films of the period. It is, Ryall argues, both a considerable work of art in itself, and also one of the first to display those touches we now think of as typically Hitchcockian: a blonde heroine in jeopardy, a surprise killing, some brilliantly manipulated suspense, and a last-reel chase around a familiar public landmark (in this case, the British Museum). There's also a cameo appearance by the director himself, as a harassed traveller on the London Underground.
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