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The Blackmail Theme in Hitchcocks Films

Some examples of the blackmail theme and where it occurs in Hitchcock's films

Blackmail, 1929

Tracy (Donald Calthrop) is blackmailing Alice (Anny Ondra, dubbed by Joan Barry) and Frank (John Longden). He saw that Alice was at the artist the night he was killed; ha also has one of her gloves, which can be used as evidence against her.

Rebecca 1939/1940

Rebecca's lover Jack Favell (George Sanders) tries to blackmail Maxim showing him a letter from Rebecca urging him excitedly to meet her, which seems to suggest she was not suicidal.

Stage Fright, 1949/1950

When Nellie Goode (Kay Walsh) uncovers the deception that is going on, Eve (Jane Wyman) manages to buy her off with blackmail money. With time running out, she persuades Smith (Michael Wilding) to accompany her to a garden party where Charlotte (Marlene Dietrich) is singing on stage in a large tent.

I Confess, 1952/1953

The murderered lawyer blackmailed the Ruth Grandfort (Anne Baxter) who was in love with Father Logan (Montgomery Clift)

Dial M for Murder, 1953/1954

Tony (Ray Milland) has been investigating Captain Lesgate - aka Charles Alexander Swann (Anthony Dawson) in order to blackmail him into committing the murder. Tony tells Swann of Margot's affair, including a love letter from Mark (Robert Cummings) which she once kept in her handbag. Six months ago, Tony stole the handbag and anonymously blackmailed her. After tricking Swann into leaving his fingerprints on the letter, Tony offers to pay him £1,000 to kill Margot (Grace Kelly). If he refuses, Tony will turn him in to the police as the blackmailer.

 

 

 

 

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Web editor: Per-Erik Skramstad