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Silent Treatment

The Cinematheque hires a live orchestra to score an old Hitchcock movie.


Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail is one of the director’s most intriguing early works. Shot in 1929 in his native England, the film tells the story of a woman who murders a guy who tries to rape her after she goes to his apartment. She covers the crime, but her boyfriend cop -- assigned to the case, natch -- soon discovers the deed. A threatening witness, who wants some cash to keep quiet, adds to the suspense.

Blackmail is touted as Britain’s (and Hitchcock’s) first sound movie, but it actually exists in two versions: the more famous talkie one and a silent edition, which Hitch helmed first. The Cleveland Cinematheque shows the latter tonight, with live accompaniment by Boston’s Alloy Orchestra. The ensemble’s dizzying blend of frantic percussion and electronic noise bursts should add even more tension to the tidy thriller. for more information.
Sat., Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2007

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