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He is one of the most influential and extensively studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. His films garnered 46 Academy Award nominations including six wins, although he never won for Best Director despite having had five nominations.

Born in LeytonstoneLondon, Hitchcock entered the film industry in as a title card designer after training as a technical clerk and copy writer for a telegraph-cable company. His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Foghelped to shape the thriller genre, while his film, Blackmailwas the first British " talkie ".

ByHitchcock was a filmmaker of international importance, and film producer David O. Selznick persuaded him to move to Hollywood.

Hitchcock Breaks the Sound Barrier in Early Films 'Blackmail' and 'Murder!'

A string of successful films followed, including RebeccaForeign CorrespondentSuspicionShadow of a Doubtand Notorious Rebecca won the Academy Award for Best Picturealthough Hitchcock himself was only nominated as Best Director ; [5] he was also nominated for Lifeboat and Spellbound The " Hitchcockian " style includes the use of camera movement to mimic a person's gaze, thereby turning viewers into voyeursand framing shots to maximise anxiety and fear.

The film critic Robin Wood wrote that the meaning of a Hitchcock film "is there in the method, in the progression from shot to shot. A Hitchcock film is an organism, with the whole implied in every detail and every detail related to the whole. After a brief lull of commercial success in the late s, Hitchcock returned to form with Strangers on a Train and Dial M For Murder Between andHitchcock directed four films often ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear WindowVertigoNorth by Northwestand Psychothe first and last of these garnering him Best Director nominations.

Hitchcock was born on 13 August in the flat above his parents' leased grocer's shop at High Road, Leytonstoneon the outskirts of east London then part of Essexthe youngest of three children: William Daniel —Ellen Kathleen "Nellie" —and Alfred Joseph There was a large extended family, including Uncle John Hitchcock with his five-bedroom Victorian house on Campion Road, Putneycomplete with maid, cook, chauffeur and gardener.

Every summer John rented a seaside house for the family in CliftonvilleKent. Hitchcock said that he first became class-conscious there, noticing the differences between tourists and locals.

Describing himself as a well-behaved boy—his father called him his "little lamb without a spot"—Hitchcock said he could not remember ever having had a playmate.

When he was six, the family moved to Limehouse and leased two stores at and Salmon Lane, which they ran as a fish-and-chips shop and fishmongers' respectively; they lived above the former.

He also attended a convent school, the Wode Street School "for the daughters of gentlemen and little boys", run by the Faithful Companions of Jesus. He then attended a primary school near his home and was for a short time a boarder at Salesian College in Battersea. The family moved again when he was 11, this time to Stepneyand on 5 October Hitchcock was sent to St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, Tottenham now in the London Borough of Haringeya Jesuit grammar school with a reputation for discipline.Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in s London.

Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night, Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas, and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else, and blackmail is threatened.

Alice White, the daughter of a tobacconist, has been dating Frank Webber, a young up and coming detective at Scotland Yard. After successfully ditching Frank one evening on a date, Alice instead meets up with a young male artist who she really wanted to be with that evening.

After going up to the artist's studio apartment, he tried to rape her. She ended up stabbing him to death in self defense, after which, she tried to wipe out any evidence of being in his apartment, followed by sneaking out of the apartment and wandering the streets in a shocked daze over what she did.

Frank ends up being one of the detectives assigned to the case, he who sees evidence only known to him of Alice having been in the artist's apartment, and recognizing the dead man as the person with whom Alice snuck off after she ditched him the night before. Frank decides to hide the evidence he knows implicates Alice from his fellow detectives, but confronts Alice with it to see what she says.

But before she answers, an unsavory type named Tracy implies that he knows what happened, and blackmails the pair in return for his silence.

Eventually, Frank learns that Tracy is a wanted criminal. So Frank comes up with an idea of pinning the murder on him. The questions become whether such a move will actually work, and if so, whether Alice's conscience will allow an innocent man, however unsavory, be charged with a crime he didn't commit. In Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock 's first talking movie which actually started out as a silent movie, but switched to a talkie part way through filming a young woman, Alice White, finds herself being blackmailed after killing a man in self defense.

blackmail hitchcock wikipedia

To complicate matters further, the hard-working policeman investigating the death is her boyfriend Frank Webber. Frank soon learns that Alice is responsible, but sets out to prove her innocent of murder, and stop the blackmailer. However, as the naive girl is lured into Crewe's studio, his sinister sexual advances will soon arm Alice's hand with a serrated bread knife, and before she knows it, the man lies dead in a pool of blood.

As Alice flees the scene of the crime in a numb haze, while the news of the unknown killer is spreading like wildfire all the way up to Frank's ears, an invisible eyewitness will become a ruthless blackmailer. But, what will it take to keep him quiet? Alice White, detective Frank Webber's girlfriend, is invited by an artist to visit his studio. The man tries to rape Alice and she kills him with a knife to defend herself. A criminal sees the murder and he keeps the lady's glove from the crime scene in order to blackmail her.

Frank is assigned to the murder case. Sign In. Edit Blackmail Jump to: Summaries 6 Synopsis 1. The synopsis below may give away important plot points. Edit page. Alfred Hitchcock. Watched movies. Best Silent Films Features.


Share this page:. Clear your history.Alfred Hitchcock — [1] was an English director and filmmaker. Popularly known as the "Master of Suspense" for his use of innovative film techniques in thrillers[1] [2] Hitchcock started his career in the British film industry as a title designer and art director for a number of silent films during the early s.

His directorial debut was the release The Pleasure Garden. In Hitchcock transitioned to Hollywood productions, the first of which was the psychological thriller Rebecca starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

Three years later he reunited with Grant on Notorious which also starred Ingrid Bergman. The film included a three-minute intermittent kissing scene between the leads shot specifically to skirt the Motion Picture Production Code which at the time limited such scenes to three seconds.

The film was his first in Technicolor and is remembered for its use of long takes to make the film appear to be a single continuous shot. In he directed Psychothe biggest commercial success of his career and for which he received his fifth nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards. The following year he reunited with Hedren on the film Marnie which also starred Sean Connery. DeMille Award. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Alfred Hitchcock filmography.

British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 6 March The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 March Archived from the original on 14 August New York: Harper-Collins. Archived from the original on 5 March Hitchcock's Motifs.

blackmail hitchcock wikipedia

Amsterdam University Press. Archived from the original on 29 August Archived from the original on 12 March Roger Ebert. Archived from the original on 2 February Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on 26 September Retrieved 1 May Archived from the original on 1 March American Film Institute.

Archived from the original on 24 June Radio Times. Archived from the original on 4 October Basic Books. Archived from the original on 23 March Thalberg Memorial Award". Archived from the original on 13 MarchBlackmail is an act of coercion using the threat of revealing or publicizing either substantially true or false information about a person or people unless certain demands are met.

It is often damaging information, and may be revealed to family members or associates rather than to the general public. It may involve using threats of physical, mental or emotional harm, or of criminal prosecution, against the victim or someone close to the victim. Blackmail may also be considered a form of extortion. In many jurisdictions, blackmail is a statutory offense, often criminal, carrying punitive sanctions for convicted perpetrators.

Blackmail is the name of a statutory offense in the United States, England and Wales, and Australia, [8] and has been used as a convenient way of referring to certain other offenses, but was not a term used in English law until Blackmail was originally a term from the Scottish Borders meaning payments rendered in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.

Alternatively, it may be derived from two Scottish Gaelic words blathaich - to protect; and mal - tribute or payment. The word blackmail is variously derived from the word for tribute in modern terms, protection racket paid by English and Scottish border dwellers to Border Reivers in return for immunity from raids and other harassment. The "mail" part of blackmail derives from Middle English male"rent, tribute".

An alternative version is that rents in the Scottish Borders were often paid in produce of the land, called "greenmail" 'green rent'suggesting "blackmail" as a counterpart paid perforce to the reivers. Alternatively, Mackay derives it from two Scottish Gaelic words blathaich pronounced the th silent bla-ich to protect and mal tribute, paymentcf.

He notes that the practice was common in the Scottish Highlands as well as the Borders. The offence of blackmail is created by section 87 [13] of the Crimes Act Sections 87 1 and 2 are derived from and identical to sections 21 1 and 2 of the Theft Act printed above. Section 87 3 provides that a person guilty of blackmail is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 4 imprisonment 15 years maximum.

Section provides that a person who menaces another intending to get the other to submit to a demand is guilty of blackmail, and may be subject to imprisonment a maximum of 15 years for a basic offence or a maximum of 20 years for an aggravated offence. The offence created by section 17 1 [15] of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act, is described by the marginal note to that section as "blackmail, extortion and demanding money with menaces".

The offence is derived from the offence under section 21 of the Theft Act In England and Wales this offence is created by section 21 1 of the Theft Act Sections 21 1 and 2 of that Act provide:.

The Theft Act section 21 contains the present-day definition of blackmail in English law. It requires four elements:. These tests relate to the actual belief of the perpetrator, not the belief of an ordinary or reasonable person. The usual rule is that a criminal act, or a belief not truly held, can never be "warranted", although according to some authors, a "grey area" may rarely exist where a very minor illegality may be honestly believed to be warranted.

Additionally, a statement that would not usually coerce or pressure someone may still be a "menace", if the perpetrator knew, believed, or expected that their specific victim would feel coerced or pressured by it. The law does not require a demand or menace to be received by the victim, merely that they are made, therefore it is irrelevant whether the victim was affected or not, or even unaware of them perhaps because they had not yet been received, read or listened to.

Because the criteria include an intention to "cause" some kind of gain or loss, a demand for sex for example would not be considered blackmail, so threats with these and other demands are dealt with under a variety of other criminal laws.

However even in these cases, a gain or loss of some kind can often be found, and then this law can then be applied. The courts have ruled that a person who places themselves in a situation where they may be coerced to make a demand with menaces against a third party is likely, foreseeable, or probable, may not be able to rely on coercion as a defence because they voluntarily placed themselves in such a situation.

This issue has arisen, for example, in gang-related violence. The word "menaces" was adopted from sections 29 1 i and 30 of the Larceny Act Section 29 1 i made it a felony for a person to utter, knowing the contents thereof, any letter or writing demanding of any person with menaces, and without any reasonable or probable cause, any property or valuable thing. Section 30 made it an offence for a person to, with menaces or by force, demand of any person anything capable of being stolen with intent to steal the same.

Thorne v Motor Trade Association [22] is a leading case on the meaning of the word "menaces", decided under section 29 1 i of the Larceny Act It was held that the trade body had both the right to put persons on their blacklist and also the right to offer a fine as an alternative to being put on a blacklist, therefore neither of the demand or the menace were ruled to be "unwarranted".

The Court noted that a plainly unreasonable fine could potentially be viewed as unwarranted.

blackmail hitchcock wikipedia

In this case, Lord Wright said:. I think the word "menace" is to be liberally construed and not as limited to threats of violence but as including threats of any action detrimental to or unpleasant to the person addressed. It may also include a warning that in certain events such action is intended.On this IMDbrief - presented by Acura - we explain how an online premiere resulted in a multi-million dollar payday and the Sundance must-see movies to add to your Watchlist. Watch the video.

Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night, Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio.

The man has other ideas, and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else, and blackmail is threatened.

While remembered as the first sound picture made by Alfred Hitchcock or anyone else in Britainthere is much more to "Blackmail" than merely historical interest. It reveals the director's subtle creativity, with a carefully structured story that also produces some real suspense, with one of Hitchcock's best cameos and an entertaining chase sequence as bonuses.

The movie has a unique feel, as Hitchcock was still using many silent film techniques at the same time that he was experimenting with sound.

Alfred Hitchcock filmography

Not all of this works perfectly, but it does not detract from the film's many positive features. Alice White Anny Ondra, voice dubbed by Joan Barry goes out for the evening with her boyfriend, who is a police detective John Longden. When they have a series of minor quarrels, Alice decides to go her own way, and meets an artist friend. The artist's intentions are obvious, but Alice is innocently unaware.

When he brings her to his studio, there is soon an unpleasant confrontation that sets in motion a turbulent series of events. The story is carefully constructed not just to produce suspense but also to raise interesting questions in the viewer's mind. Alice feels a terrible sense of guilt and fear over what has happened - communicated to the viewer in a variety of creative ways - but of what is she really guilty?

The behavior of the detective boyfriend is partly well-intentioned, but he certainly is not faultless. The moral ambiguity is often subtle, because it takes a back seat to the suspense, and it takes a couple of viewings to appreciate all that is going on. There is a particularly nice symmetry to the beginning and ending, pointing to the greater significance of the action in between.

The opening sequence filmed in silent movie style shows the detective and his partner dealing with a suspect in a routine way, not caring about him as a person. In the final scenes, when the detective must help Alice make a final report on everything that has happened, he sees his job in a far different perspective.

While clearly made in a different era, it has the same kind of depth and craftsmanship that distinguished those later, more well-known masterpieces. Sign In. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates.

Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide. External Sites.Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 's London.

Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio.

The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened.

Initially conceived as a silent filmHitchcock would have been aware that studio head John Maxwell was in the process of auditioning sound reproduction equipment for the studio and the go-ahead was eventually given for Hitchcock to reshoot parts of the film as a "talkie" sound version. The initial adaptation is credited solely to Hitchcock, although Michael Powell later claimed to have provided input and contemporary newspaper reports from the time credited Garnet Weston as writing the scenario.

Playwright and stage director Benn W. Levy was later hired to provide dialogue for the sound version. Not long after the film's release, Hitchcock told Close Up that his originally planned version of the Blackmail "began with the arrest of the felon and ended with the arrest of the girl. Two unknown detectives, in the very last shot, were to be shown talking about the girls they were going to take out to Lyons.

In later years, Hitchcock stated that he'd always anticipated that Blackmail would be made as a sound film, but the casting of Czechoslovakian actress Anny Ondra as Alice White would seem to contradict that claim. Her accent, which can be heard in the sound test footageproved inappropriate for her role as a working-class Londoner and English actress Joan Barry was hired to speak her dialogue off-camera whilst Ondra mimed the words. The latter two would both go on to appear in several more of Hitchcock's British films.

Alice's mother was played by Irish actress Sara Allgood. Interviewed by the Derby Daily Telegraph after filming was completed, Allgood spoke of her nerves in front of the camera: "I was scared stiff. I was so scared I didn't know what to do. My first line in Blackmail was, 'Alice, wake up,' and do you think I could say it?

Filming began on the silent version in February and was mostly complete by March, when location filming took place at the Lyons Corner House, Piccadilly Circus. The exact circumstances of when studio head John Maxwell decided that Blackmail should also be released as a sound film, how much of the film he wanted converted for sound and the extent to which Hitchcock had anticipated this would happen in advance are unclear.

Most sources agree production moved to Elstree Studio's newly equipped soundstage during April. Publicity stills taken by Michael Powell during this part of the production show cinematographer Jack E. Cox enclosed in a glass-fronted sound-proof booth, necessitated by the noisy camera.

By early May, even American local newspapers were reporting that Blackmail would be among the first British sound films. According the a press report, the Duchess and Hitchcock squeezed into the camera booth, alongside Cox and the focus boy, whilst the Duke listened to the rehearsal via a loudspeaker in the recording booth.

As well as the move to sound, Blackmail saw the first protracted and obvious Hitchcock cameo, with the director sat facing towards the camera whilst the two leads, Ondra and Longden are relegated to a side-on profile. Hitchcock's cameo in The Lodgerwith his back to camera, was born of necessity and his brief appearance in Easy Virtue has been disputed by the British Film Institute. This gives credence to Hitchcock's claim that he envisaged the possibility of a sound version early on in the production process.

Several scenes differ substantially between the two versions, indicating that they were re-staged entirely for the sound version, including:. The move to sound recording also placed limitations on the structuring and framing of individual scenes and the camera, enclosed in its sound booth, is noticeably more static in the sound version.

Speaking inHitchcock claimed that his biggest thrill when viewing the rushes of the sound version was not hearing the actors speak but being able to pick out the sound of the blackmailer's knife scraping the plate whilst he eats his breakfast of egg and bacon.

Post-production on the sound version was completed in time for a trade screening on June 21st. The following month, Blackmail began screening at selected cinemas. The silent version of the film was released a couple of months later. The review in The Bioscope praised the use of sound:. The Times also reviewed the film positively, stating that Hitchcock "should be well pleased with his work, which easily surpasses its forerunners in the peculiar gifts which the sound film is acquiring for itself.Based on the play of the same name by Charles Bennett[1] the film is about a London woman who is blackmailed after killing a man who tries to rape her.

After starting production as a silent film, British International Pictures decided to adapt Blackmail into a separate sound film. It became the first successful European talkie ; a silent version was released for theaters not equipped for sound at 6, feetwith the sound version 7, feet released at the same time. Blackmail is frequently cited as the first British sound feature film. They have an argument and Frank storms out. While reconsidering his action, he sees Alice leave with Mr.

Crewe Cyril Ritchardan artist she had earlier agreed to meet. Crewe persuades a reluctant Alice into coming up to see his studio.

Alfred Hitchcock

She admires a painting of a laughing clown, and uses his palette and brushes to paint a cartoonish drawing of a face; he adds a few strokes of a naked feminine figure, and guiding her hand, they sign the picture with her name.

He gives her a dancer's outfit and Crewe sings and plays "Miss Up-to-Date" on the piano. Crewe steals a kiss, to Alice's disgust, but as she is changing and preparing to leave, he takes her dress from the changing area. He attempts to rape her; her cries for help are not heard on the street below.

In desperation, Alice grabs a nearby bread knife and kills him. She angrily tears a hole in the painting of the clown, then leaves after attempting to remove any evidence of her presence in the flat, but accidentally leaves her gloves behind. She walks the streets of London all night in a daze. When the body is found, Frank is assigned to the case and finds one of Alice's gloves. He also recognizes the dead man, but conceals this from his superior.

Taking the glove, he goes to see Alice at her father's tobacco shop, but she is too distraught to speak. As they speak privately in the shop's telephone boothTracy Donald Calthroparrives. He had seen Alice go up to Crewe's flat, and he has the other glove. When he sees Frank with the other one, he attempts to blackmail them. His first demands are petty ones, and they accede. Frank learns by phone that Tracy is wanted for questioning: he was seen near the scene and has a criminal record.

Frank sends for policemen and tells Tracy he will pay for the murder. Alice is apprehensive, but still does not speak up. The tension mounts.

blackmail hitchcock wikipedia

When the police arrive, Tracy's nerve finally breaks and he flees. The chase leads to the British Museumwhere he clambers onto the domed roof of the Reading Room and slips, crashing through a skylight and falling to his death inside.

The police assume he was the murderer.


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