Blackmail

Film/Video
Blackmail

Blackmail

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

Blackmail

Blackmail

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

Blackmail

(Alfred Hitchcock, 1929)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo

The Hitchcock 9

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most famous film directors of all time, but his first ten silent films—nine of which survive—are little known compared to his later features. Made from 1925 to 1929, the films are among the greatest achievements of British silent cinema. They can also be seen as blueprints for the rest of Hitch’s body of work, containing many of the motifs and obsessions we have come to recognize as Hitchcockian.

Hitchcock’s development as a filmmaker in the era of silent cinema is crucial to an understanding of his filmmaking style. He was hailed as a genius very early on, and audiences and critics alike were captivated by his daring and powerful mixture of European editing styles, dramatic composition, and humor-laced high drama. Anyone who has been thrilled by Hitchcock’s Hollywood classics such as Vertigo, The Birds, or Psycho will recognize elements of the director’s touch in these earliest works.

The British Film Institute’s restoration of The Hitchcock 9 is the largest restoration project the BFI has ever undertaken and is only possible with the help of new digital technology. Thanks to the BFI’s efforts these films are being made available to venues around the world, including the Wexner Center. We’re complementing the screenings of most films with live musical accompaniment and also hosting a related film studies lecture.

The Hitchcock 9 is a joint venture of the BFI, Rialto Pictures/STUDIOCANAL, and Park Circus/ITV.

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 7 PM
Sat, Oct 12, 2013 7 PM

Made in 1929 during the transition to the sound era, Blackmail is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s. The story follows a young woman whose flirtation with a young artist suddenly takes a terribly wrong turn. The great London locations include the British Museum and Lyons Tea House at Piccadilly Circus. (75 mins., 35mm)

A Rialto Pictures Release. Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL. Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142, Pia Getty, Col & Karen Needham, and the Dr. Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation.

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