I could have sworn that Hitchcock’s Blackmail has been previously released on Blu-ray, but found no mention. Strangely, I had memory of it tinted. I then realized that I was thinking of The Lodger.
But no matter, it can now be found – with a bit of danger – via Kino Lorber’s new release, which includes both the silent, as well as the sound versions, and tagging along, a disc in 1.20 aspect ratio. Not certain that I understand the rationale there.
From quality 35mm elements, albeit at least partially unrestored, Kino’s release is a quality disc.
Hitchcock’s first sound film, and second thriller is a worthy addition to every serous library.
Be aware that there are pirated versions available, in similar fashion to the original Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, Lady Vanishes, 39 Steps, etc.
And unfortunately, the vendors carrying these pirated goods are inclusive of those that you’d normally visit to get the legal releases – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy at the fore.
Kino has released Blackmail, along with the 1930 Murder, and the same caveats as to pirated copies via illegally functioning vendors applies. Presuming that Studio Canal also licenses the other early Hitchcock productions, hopefully Kino will be able to make those available.
Image – 3.75
Audio – 3.75
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes
Looking forward to this disc and to Murder! which will also include its German version (new to me), Mary.
It's been obnoxious how the market has been flooded with the utterly garbage editions of Hitchcock's British productions for so long.
- Sep 6, 2010
- Real Name
- Pablo Manzano
- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
You’re correct. No reason for the 1.33 version. Although it might be interesting in 2.76.I just took a look at the screencaps of the three separate versions. The 1.33:1 talkie version is a waste of disc space. They could have had the silent & 1.20:1 talkie on a single disc and saved cost. The 1.33:1 talkie version is nothing more than the 1.20:1 version horizontally stretched to 1.33:1, which serves no purpose and distorts the image. If they had a true silent-aperture version of the talkie (showing the image underneath the soundtrack) that would have been great to include!
View attachment 61538
View attachment 61539
- Apr 1, 2004
I hope "Young and Innocent" (1937) is in this batch of Hitchcocks that Kino has plans for. Always liked that one, but haven't seen it in decades.
I received this, Murder!, and Touchez pas au grisbi yesterday. The sound Blackmail still looks slightly rough, but I'll take some light film damage and grain over something overly processed. The silent version looks gorgeous, though.
- Jun 30, 1997
Yes, it's vertically stretched on the Kino disc. I saw the same Studio Canal print on the Criterion Channel, and it's presented correctly.Hi Robert, or anyone who has seen the disc. Does the 1.20:1 version look vertically stretched to you? I have not seen the disc, but DVDBeaver's captures of the 1.20:1 version are actually in 1.10:1 ratio (!!) if you actually measure the pixel dimension, which I did. Either DVDBeaver made an error in capturing or Kino Lorber fouled up the aspect ratio, which they have done before. One of DVDBeaver's captures is a close-up of radio controls with circular knobs, and those circles look vertically stretched as well. Anna Ondra's body also looks stretched in the capture of the her holding a knife. I saw this film on Vudu, which uses the same Studio Canal print, and it doesn't look stretched at all, and 1.20 is 1.20.