Blackmail


1h 7m 1947

Brief Synopsis

A private detective is approached by a wealthy entertainment executive to stop a blackmail scheme against him. Although he hasn't decided to take the job, the blackmailers believe that he already has, and he is marked for murder.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lightnin' Strikes Twice
Release Date
Jul 24, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After Carla, a singer at the Silver Swan Casino, is found dead, show business tycoon Ziggy Cranston hires New York private detective Daniel J. Turner. When Dan arrives outside Cranston's Los Angeles home, he is assaulted by Cranston's surly chauffeur, Antoine Le Blanc, who pretends to be French. In the house, Cranston relates to Dan the events leading to Carla's death: After winning $50,000 at the casino's roulette wheel, Cranston is drugged by Carla and wakes up the next morning in her penthouse. After he receives compromising photographs in the mail, he goes to Carla to obtain the negatives, but she demands $50,000. Cranston refuses and later reads in the newspaper that Carla fell from her window under suspicious circumstances. Back in the present, Dan is distracted from Cranston's story by a crash in the adjoining greenhouse and goes to investigate. When Dan enters the greenhouse, he is confronted by a gunman who demands $150,000. After a struggle, the man runs outside the house, then falls into the swimming pool after being shot. When Dan reaches the pool, Cranston is holding a gun, but claims that he did not see the shooter. Cranston's girl friend Sylvia Duane then arrives and, after Cranston rips the phone line out to prevent Dan from calling the police, she and Cranston attempt to bribe him. After knocking Cranston out, Dan takes him to a gas station and calls homicide Inspector Donaldson, whom he knows from the past. By the time Dan returns to Cranston's house, the police have arrived, but the body has been removed from the pool and Sylvia denies knowing anything about it. Later, at police headquarters, Dan, who suspects that Antoine could be involved with the murder, learns that he is an ex-G.I. and honorably discharged from the Signal Corps. He also learns that the dead man was "Blue Chip" Winslow, who worked at the Silver Swan. Dan then goes to Winslow's house, where Antoine has gone to look for the negatives. After a fight, both men return to Cranston's home. There Cranston sets fire to the negatives and admits that Antoine and Sylvia had moved the body. Dan then goes to the Silver Swan and meets owner Spice Kelloway and his henchman, Pinky. After Pinky and another henchman knock Dan down, Pinky discovers Dan's badge. Dan then tells Kelloway about Winslow's murder, but Kelloway claims to know nothing about it and gives Dan $1,000 to ensure that the Silver Swan will not be implicated, after which Dan returns to Cranston's. As Dan questions Antoine and the other servants, the phone rings and Dan listens on an extension as Cranston hears the caller demand that $150,000 be left at the summit of Topanga Canyon. Dan suspects that Sylvia has made the call, disguising her voice as a man, but then sees her outside at the pool. On his way out, however, Dan notices that the phone line has been repaired, suggesting that Sylvia could have made the call from a phone in the pool house. Driving away from Cranston's, Dan is followed by one of Kelloway's men. When they stop, a fight ensues, after which Dan gives him the $1,000 to return to Kelloway. Later, after Antoine takes a briefcase containing $150,000 to the canyon, Dan drives Cranston to Antoine's apartment, where they meet Donaldson outside. Dan goes inside alone and finds Sylvia and tells her his deductions that she and Antoine have been working together to get Cranston's money and killed Carla and Winslow. When Cranston and Donaldson come inside, Dan lies that Antoine has implicated Sylvia and she angrily says that everything was Antoine's idea. Just then, Antoine enters the apartment carrying the briefcase and an enraged Sylvia shoots him to death. As Donaldson arrests Sylvia, Dan discusses his fee with Cranston.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lightnin' Strikes Twice
Release Date
Jul 24, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title for the film was Lightnin' Strikes Twice. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Douglas Fowley in the cast, but he was not in the released film.