Alfred Hitchcock's first with talking. Blackmail isn't altogether sound; there was music and effects grafted onto silent-shot action that opens the film, all of that fast, vivid, and among most effective stuff AH had done up to then. He was experimentingboldly with dialogue and offscreen noise while others struggled just to record same without incident. Word was he exuded confidence in a panicked environment that was British-International Pictures at that time. Blackmail is as entertaining as any 1929 talkie release from America, Hitchcock introducing tricks he'd keep for a career's length. Games played with sound can still knock for loops, especially brilliant exploit of the repeated word "knife" as it relates to guilt panic of the heroine/murderess. I don't look at Blackmail as compulsory artifact, it being fun and always rewarding. There was a silent version released to UK theatres un-wired (lots of those in '29) and that's a satisfier too, the two available together on a Region Two DVD of excellent quality. Blackmail did get a US release, as evidenced at top in a rare stateside ad, and below in newspaper commentary re the Gordon Theatre's booking of Blackmail. For most of heartland and small towns, those English voices on trial would face harsh verdict as audiences chose US inflection over "Our Mother Tongue As It Should Be Spoken."