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Blackmail (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 8 September 1939 (USA)
John Ingram, successful oil-field firefighter, is really a chain-gang escapee. Someone out of his past finds him...

Director:

H.C. Potter

Writers:

David Hertz (screen play), William Ludwig (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... John R. Ingram
Ruth Hussey ... Helen Ingram
Gene Lockhart ... William Ramey
Bobs Watson ... Hank
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Moose McCarthy (as Guinn Williams)
John Wray ... Diggs
Arthur Hohl ... Rawlins
Esther Dale ... Sarah
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lew Harvey Lew Harvey ... Workman (scenes deleted)
Mitchell Lewis ... Workman (scenes deleted)
Louis Natheaux ... (scenes deleted)
Ted Oliver Ted Oliver ... Workman (scenes deleted)
Lee Phelps Lee Phelps ... Guard (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

John Ingram of Oklahoma has a loving family, loves his work fighting oil fires, and is good at it. But 9 years ago, under another name he escaped from a Southern chain gang. Enter William Ramey, a "friend" from John's past, who gradually works up to a blackmail attempt under a promise to get Ingram cleared...but instead has him sent back to the old chain gang. Though determined to tough it out this time, circumstances compel Ingram to attempt another escape... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robinson at his tip-top best! Daring death in untameable oil-field fires...seeking vengeance in a flaming inferno...for a woman who gave him his one glimpse of heaven! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amenaza See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Friday 16 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia Monday 19 November 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6); it first aired in New Haven CT 3 December 1956 on WNHC (Channel 8), in New York City 15 December 1956 on WCBS (Channel 2) , in Portland OR 2 January 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Chicago 16 January 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Altoona PA 15 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Minneapolis 1 May 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Abilene TX 20 May 1957 on KRBC (Channel 9), in Phoenix 28 July 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Memphis 5 August 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in Miami 14 August 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7), in Tampa 1 October 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), in Cincinnati 2 November 1957 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Columbus 23 November 1957 on WLW-C (Channel 3), in Indianapolis 9 December 1957 on WLW-I (Channel 13), in Fresno CA 16 December 1957 on KMJ (Channel 24), in Honolulu 3 January 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13), and in San Francisco 20 January 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

When John returns home after escaping, he pulls down the shade on the window over the kitchen sink, but leaves it a few inches above the windowsill, then embraces his wife. In the next close-up of the embrace the shade is fully closed down to the sill. See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Was A Fugitive from a Chain Gang - Twice
30 May 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson here is a victim of "Blackmail," a 1939 film starring Robinson, Ruth Hussey, and Gene Lockhart.

Ingram (Robinson, his wife (Hussey) and his son (Bobs Watson, known as the "Crybaby of Hollywood") live in Oklahoma, where Ingram fights oil fires He's considered one of the best. But he has a secret - nine years earlier, under another name, he was on a chain gang for something he didn't do, and he escaped.

All is well until William Ramey (Lockhart), someone from his past, shows up and blackmails him, using the promise of getting Ingram cleared, since it was he who committed the crime. However, he double crosses Ingram, who ends up back on a chain gang.

Ingram decides that this time, he will do his full sentence. Things happen to change his mind.

Gritty drama with Robinson suffering as only he can. Like Bogart, he could be mean as dirt or a sympathetic character. Here he's tough, caring, and sympathetic. Ruth Hussey gives a lovely performance as his wife, and I admit that Bobs Watson was so pathetic when he cried that I cried. He became a Methodist minister but kept acting as well.

Though the acting is effective, this is a routine drama. The actors keep you involved.


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