Scare Tactics: Six by Hitchcock

Blackmail (1929)
  • August 28, 2014 - 7:30pm

6:30 Reception for Lone Star and Modern Reel People members
7:30 Screening

Scare Tactics: Six by Hitchcock presents BLACKMAIL
(1929. With Anny Ondra, John Longden, Cyril Ritchard. 75 minutes)

Hitchcock’s silent BLACKMAIL is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s. Made in 1929 during the transition to the sound era, it was commissioned as both a silent film and as part-talkie with music and some dialogue scenes. Czech film actress Anny Ondra stars as Alice White, a young woman whose brief flirtation with an artist turns suddenly and terribly sour.  Hitchcock’s masterly thriller boasts great London locations including the British Museum, Whitehall and the Lyons Tea House at Piccadilly Circus.

Introduction and discussion following screening: Dr. Joan McGettigan
Dr. McGettigan teaches courses in film history and critical film studies at TCU. Her areas of research include the history of crime films, movie adaptations of The Great Gatsby, the Turner Classic Movies channel and its annual Film Festival, and the films of director Alfred Hitchcock, Terrence Malick, and Martin Scorsese. Dr. McGettigan is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has also conducted research on the history of movies and movie theatres in that city. Her work has been published in the anthology Poetic Visions of America: The Cinema of Terrence Malick and in journals such as Bright Lights Film Journal, Studies in Popular Culture, and Journal of Film and Video.

This screening is silent with live musical accompaniment performed by Robert Edwards.
Robert Edwards holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from UNT in Classical Piano Performance and has always had a soft spot for music form the teens and the twenties. He teaches piano and plays with The Singapore Slingers, an eighteen piece orchestra that specializes in 1920’s jazz. He began accompanying silent features about ten years ago and since then has played for full-length silent features such as THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI and NOSFERATU as well as comedic features and shorts. During the week he works with autistic children in the Grand Prairie ISD and plays for services at Greenland Hills UMC in Dallas. Robert lives in Oak Cliff, Dallas.

The film is a restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142, Pia Getty, Col & Karen Needham, and the Dr Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation.


The Lone Star Film Society’s ArthouseFW and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth finish out the summer with an exciting series showcasing six pivotal Alfred Hitchcock films. The selected films explore the power of Hitchcock’s distinctive style in two of his nine silent films and four of his later masterpieces.

Over a career spanning more than half a century, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, nicknamed the Master of Suspense, fashioned a distinctive and recognizable directorial style. His pioneering camera techniquemimicking a person's gaze, forces viewers to engage in a disturbing form of voyeurism. His framed shots maximize anxiety, fear, or empathy, and his use of innovative film editing is legendary. Hitchcock stories often feature fugitives falsely accused and on the run from the law with "icy blonde" female beauties as their accomplices and/or nemeses. Renowned for their surprise twist endings, thrilling plots and witty dialogue, his films often borrow themes from psychoanalysis and feature highly artistic depictions of intrigue, murder and crime. 

Often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker, Hitchcock was first choice in a 2007 poll of film critics in Britain's Daily Telegraph, which said: "Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else.”

Screenings will be held in the Modern Art Museum Auditorium. The screenings of BLACKMAIL and THE LODGER will feature live musical accompaniment. Tickets are $9/$7 for Modern members and $6 for Modern Reel People and Lone Star members. Tickets may be purchased in advance at or by calling the Modern, 817.738.9215. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Modern beginning two hours prior to show time.