1094. BLACKMAIL (1929-England), Directed by ALFRED HITCHCOCK with CYRIL RITCHARD. In Hitchcock’s first talkie, a young woman goes home with a handsome artist after arguing with her boyfriend (a police detective) in a restaurant, then kills him when he tries to rape her. Her boyfriend is assigned to the case and soon realizes she’s guilty but covers it up. The two find themselves the victims of a blackmailer who knows the truth. This early sound film may seem primitive but careful observers will spot the master’s touch in the precisely set-up shots and macabre wit which are his trademarks. (Even more careful observers will spot Hitchcock himself as a pompous train passenger being pestered by a little boy.) The climax features a classic Hitchcock chase through the British Museum. Unable to shoot in the museum itself, Hitchcock did most of these scenes in the studio in front of full-scale transparencies, using an early technique known as the Shuftan Process (and keeping it a secret from his producers). He also discoÂvered the German leading lady had an unintelligible accent and hired a British actress to stand off-camera speaking her lines into a microphone as the leading lady mouthed them. Wry, suspenseful and a rare treat for Hitchcock fans. 84 minutes. Hitchcock