Sunday, February 6, 2011

As the girl said to the soldier...

Here's a sound test from 1929 for Alfred Hitchcock's BLACKMAIL. Hitchcock is being his old cheeky self and the babe is Anny Ondra who played the lead in the film.

Ondra was from Czechoslovakia and spoke English well but had an accent so in the film she was dubbed by someone else. Or should I say in the talkie version of the film she was dubbed!

BLACKMAIL was originally prepared as a silent movie but this was shortly after the invention of the talking film (1927) so the studio decided to make it a talking picture instead. However, since many theatres still hadn't bought equipment to play sound films with the film was released as both a silent and a talkie.

I haven't watched either of the two (but needless to say I want to) but various web sites state the original silent version is the better film. Both versions are available on DVD (in Germany and Spain). Check the two clips underneath; they're of the same same scene but from the two different versions. They both contain quite a bit of footage not found in the other edit.

Film wise I prefer the silent version but music wise I prefer the sound version. The cling-clong music in the silent one rips my nerves to threads! It's juuust terrible if you ask me. However, the damn birds in the sound version are a pain too. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't watch this film after all. :/ LOL.

And Anny Ondra is so cute! :D