Here we have an Italian visual effects-driven cat-and-mouse caper film that hinges on a female antihero pulling one over on a highly respected and famously successful male master detective. Filibus outwits the tests of time at every twist.
For all of the grandeur, detail, and enormity of 1482 Paris depicted in this prestigious undertaking, this is, first and last, Lon Chaney’s show. It’s his presence and his 110-percent devotion to portraying Quasimodo that fuels this version of Hunchback to culturally persist when so many subsequent adaptations have been forgotten.
That ninety years later such an accomplished and important work from a vital film artist as Alfred Hitchcock not only survives but thrives as a viable piece across three separate versions deeply reiterates the inherently malleable and fluid nature of movies. It can be said that there is no “definitive version”, and yet it’s a classic all the same. Thankfully, Kino Lorber provides all three major variations. That is why no collector of great should be without this Blu-ray special edition of… Blackmail.