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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Any ideas what was the first true 'talkie' produced in the UK?

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Usually reckoned to be Blackmail (1929) by Alfred Hitchcock. It was made as a silent and then re-made as a "talkie" with the chatty scenes re-shot & sound effect added to the non-talking scenes.



    Female lead Anny Ondra had a strong Mittel European accent so her voice was dubbed by Joan Barry (c.f. story of Singin' in the Rain).



    There's a DVD which has both sound and silent versions on it. It also has Anny Ondra doing her sound tests. It's no wonder Hitch had her voice dubbed.



    It also has the first of Hitchcock's "big location" finales at the British Museum. Claimed to have been suggested by the young Michael Powell who had worked with Hitch a few times by then.



    Steve

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Wondered whether it might be The Clue of the New Pin (imdb trivia calls it's Britain's first talkie) or The Squeaker.

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    There was another one (can't remember the name offhand) that's a valid contender for the title as it was made before Blackmail but Blackmail was released first.



    Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: United States
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    I have known that "Blackmail" was the first.



    FYI DB7, per that era, I understand that the first film to be shown to airline passengers was a silent version of "The Lost World", which was screened during an Imperial Airways flight from London in 1925.



    Gibbie

  6. #6
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Trying to claim the title for Edgar Wallace? :)



    The Squeaker wasn't released until 1930.

    The Clue of the New Pin could be a contender.



    Blackmail was released in the UK on 30th June 1929. That's the target they've got to beat.



    Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>SteveCrook:

    Trying to claim the title for Edgar Wallace? :)

    [/b]
    It's Beaconsfield I'm looking at. thumbs_u Wallace was chairmen of British Lion and lived nearby I believe.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England
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    THE CLUE OF THE NEW PIN was Britain's first talkie made using the sound-on-disc system, BLACKMAIL was Britain's talkie made using sound-on-film system, but which one was actually the first to be released is difficult to discover.

  9. #9
    Rennie
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    According to 'Quinlan's 'British Sound Films 1928-1959', all the following films were released in 1928:-



    BALACLAVA

    KITTY

    THE LADY OF THE LAKE

    NUMBER SEVENTEEN

    'Q' SHIPS

    TESHA

    THE THREE PASSIONS

    THE WRECKER

    YELLOW STOCKINGS

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>Rennie:

    According to 'Quinlan's 'British Sound Films 1928-1959', all the following films were released in 1928:-



    [/b]
    Think they're all silent.

  11. #11
    Rennie
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    Thanks DB7. I have now read Quinlan's foreward to the 'Twenties' section in his book, and he does in fact make reference to Hitchcock's 'Blackmail' as being the first British 'all talkie'. I can therefore only assume that all the 1928 released films were either made as part sound, or were produced as silents with sound added later.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by SteveCrook:

    [QB] Trying to claim the title for Edgar Wallace? :)



    Edgar Wallace does take the title as far as I can ascertain as the writer of 'The Terror'.



    This adaption of the Wallace play was first shown at the Piccadilly Theatre, London in October 1928 described with the banner "A Talking Film". Although it used the Vitaphone sound on disc system it was officially Britain's first 'all talking picture' (even going so far as to have the credits read aloud by a narrator) beating 'Blackmail' which was only just going into production.



    Blackmail finally debuted in London in June 1929 but was even then being described as "the first full-length talking subject to be made in a British film studio".



    Incidentally 'The Terror' also of course takes the title of Britain's first talking horror film.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Isn't The Terror a US production?

  14. #14
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>AMP:

    </div><div class='quotemain'>SteveCrook:

    Trying to claim the title for Edgar Wallace? :)

    [/b]
    Edgar Wallace does take the title as far as I can ascertain as the writer of 'The Terror'.



    This adaption of the Wallace play was first shown at the Piccadilly Theatre, London in October 1928 described with the banner "A Talking Film". Although it used the Vitaphone sound on disc system it was officially Britain's first 'all talking picture' (even going so far as to have the credits read aloud by a narrator) beating 'Blackmail' which was only just going into production.



    Blackmail finally debuted in London in June 1929 but was even then being described as "the first full-length talking subject to be made in a British film studio".



    Incidentally 'The Terror' also of course takes the title of Britain's first talking horror film. [/b]
    Typical of Hitchcock's advertising that he'd claim it as the first even when he knew it wasn't.



    Looks like that could win then with Blackmail keeping the title for the first "sound on film" British talkie (RCA Photophone System).



    BTW it seems that The Terror (1928) is on the "Missing, Believed Lost" list. Only the Vitaphone disks for the soundtrack remain.



    Steve

  15. #15
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>DB7:

    Isn't The Terror a US production? [/b]
    According to the IMDb, there was Terror (1928) which was an American silent western and The Terror (1928) which was a British mystery/horror made with the Vitaphone disk system.



    Steve

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    I just found one dated '38, gotta hyperlink Steve?

  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>SteveCrook:

    </div><div class='quotemain'>DB7:

    Isn't The Terror a US production? [/b]
    According to the IMDb, there was Terror (1928) which was an American silent western and The Terror (1928) which was a British mystery/horror made with the Vitaphone disk system.



    Steve

    [/b]
    Sorry, correction to all of the above.

    The Terror (1928) does appear to be an American production.



    Produced by Warner Bros.

    Directed by Roy Del Ruth who only made films in the States.



    So Blackmail might keep the title after all.



    Steve

  18. #18
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    I haven't gone through the reference books but I always believed this is to be a British production - I may be proved wrong. The film does apparently still exist in a private collection.



    Strangely 'The Clue Of The New Pin' was completed by February 1929 and announcements were made that TCOTNP "which will be the first full-length British talking film, has been completed" but by November 1929 only a silent version was playing in London.

  19. #19
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>DB7:

    I just found one dated '38, gotta hyperlink Steve? [/b]
    Do you mean The Terror (1938)?

    That's a remake of the 1928 one.



    Steve

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>SteveCrook:

    So Blackmail might keep the title after all.



    Steve [/b]
    We've not unanimously agreed yet. Hitchcock's illustrious name alone could cause a revisionist look at the past. violent wink

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