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Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ (1929)

Silent Film with Live Organ Accompaniment

Thursday 17 October 7.30pm

RNCM Concert Hall

Hitchcock's Blackmail 1929

Darius Battiwalla organ

In Hitchcock’s first talking production (and final silent film but more of that later…) a young woman finds herself being blackmailed after killing a man in self-defence. According to legend, the studio gave Hitchcock the go ahead to shoot a proportion of sound footage, but the director surreptitiously shot almost the entire film in sound, back to back with a silent version for distribution to the many cinemas still not equipped for talking pictures.

Blackmail was made ten years before Hitchcock broke through in America with The 39 Steps, after which producer David O Selznick persuaded the director to move to Hollywood. It displays many of the director’s stylistic elements and themes with which he would become associated – a fascination with male sexual aggression and female vulnerability, and the British Library climax is the first of Hitchcock’s characteristic ambitious set pieces featuring landmark locations.

For our latest celluloid adventure, Darius Battiwalla will improvise on the organ to further heighten the drama of Hitchcock’s innovative work.

Image courtesy of Park Circus/StudioCanal


Spotlight: Czech your English!

Thursday 17 October 6.30pm

Music for saxophone and piano from Czechia, the UK and the USA

Free admission, no ticket required

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Thursday 17 October 7.30pm - Tickets £14