''Blackmail'' (1929) is the first talking film directed by Creator/AlfredHitchcock.

Alice (Anny Ondra) is a London shopgirl who goes out on a date with her handsome boyfriend, Scotland Yard detective Frank Webber (John Longden). She's two-timing him, though, and sneaks out of her date to meet with a sleazy artist, Mr. Crewe (Cyril Ritchard). The artist lures her to his studio and tries to rape her, but she stabs him to death. She thinks she has gotten away with it, but she was seen.

''Blackmail'' was not only Hitchcock's first talking film but the first talking film made in Britain. It was a huge hit and established Hitchcock as one of Britain's preeminent directors. It bears many of the tropes that would become familiar parts of Alfred Hitchcock's work--not just the CreatorCameo but the MonumentalBattle, the DeadHandShot, the use of a blonde heroine in peril, and others.


* {{Blackmail}}: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Maybe not a shock]] that this is a plot element in ''Blackmail''. Unfortunately for Alice, she is seen by a man on the street as she exits Crewe's rooming house.
* BookEnds: Very similar shots of the police car barreling through the streets in the first scene of the movie and in the climax.
* ClimbingClimax: The blackmailer, with the cops in hot pursuit, climbs to the top of the British Museum.
* CreatorCameo: Yes, Hitchcock did this from the very start of his career. This time he is sitting in a subway car, where a young boy is annoying him.
* DeadHandShot: This is how Crewe's death is revealed. Later in the film, Alice is creeped out every time she sees a man's extended hand and arm.
* DisneyVillainDeath: Unfortunately for the blackmailer, it turns out the panes of the glass cupola atop the British Museum can't support his weight.
* DrivingADesk: Very obvious when the police car is driving around. The actors have white outlines around them.
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: A variant--when Alice is changing into the model's dress, Mr. Crewe then snags her dress. Not played for laughs.
* HeroicBSOD: Alice slips into one of these after knifing Mr. Crewe.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Frank the detective says of the crime movie that he wants to go see:
--> "It's about Scotland Yard. Might be amusing. They're bound to get all the details wrong."
* MatchCut: From Alice screaming when she sees a bum lying on the street that reminds her of Crewe, to Crewe's landlady when she discovers him. Again later, when the police chief orders a search for the blackmailer, to the blackmailer sitting in the same position.
* MonumentalBattle: The cops chase the blackmailer to the British Museum.
* NearRapeExperience: Crewe attacks Alice, but she manages to get her hand on a knife.
* ReCut: Shooting was already underway when [[ExecutiveMeddling the producers decided]] to make ''Blackmail'' a talking film. Hitchcock wound up shooting all of the picture as a talking film except the first 6 1/2 minutes, while also making a silent version for theaters that hadn't converted to sound. Both versions survive
* RooftopConfrontation: The cops finally corner the blackmailer atop the British Museum.
* SameLanguageDub: Anny Ondra's thick Czech accent was judged to be a problem. Hitchcock solved it by having an English actress, Joan Barry, say the dialogue off-camera while Ondra mouthed the words. Ondra went back to Czechoslovakia not long after, where she worked in movies for many more years.
* TimePassesMontage: A criminal is being interrogated; he puts his cigarette on the ashtray. Cut to the ashtray with four cigarette butts inside it.
* YourCheatingHeart: Alice bails on a date with Frank to meet Mr. Crewe. It turns out to be a bad idea.
* ZipMeUp: Part of Alice's flirting with Crewe, when she is trying on one of his costumes for models.