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Sabotage (1936)

Unrated  |   |  Thriller  |  11 January 1937 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 9,711 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 39 critic

A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective's cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel.

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(from the novel: "The Secret Agent" by), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Title: Sabotage (1936)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Verloc (as Sylvia Sydney)
Oskar Homolka ...
Her Husband (as Oscar Homolka)
Desmond Tester ...
John Loder ...
Ted
Joyce Barbour ...
Matthew Boulton ...
S.J. Warmington ...
William Dewhurst ...
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Storyline

Mr. Verloc is part of a gang of foreign saboteurs operating out of London. He manages a small cinema with his wife and her teenage brother as a cover, but they know nothing of his secret. Scotland Yard assign an undercover detective to work at the shop next to the cinema in order to observe the gang. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...A Bomb Plot ...A Killing ...Justice

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Married a Murderer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

The ring on Mrs. Verloc's third finger when she's wielding the knife. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in power plant: Sand.
2nd Man in power plant: Sabotage.
3rd Man in power plant: Wrecking.
4th Man in power plant: Deliberate.
2nd Man in power plant: What's at the back of it?
3rd Man in power plant: Who did it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown with a background of a dictionary page open to the definition of "Sabotage". See more »

Connections

Version of The Secret Agent (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song At Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Lyrics by G. Clifton Bingham
Sung a cappella by a man lighting candles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sabotage (1936)
15 October 2007 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

Sabotage Based on Joseph Conrad's 1907 novel " The Secret Agent," the story concerns Detective Sergeant Ted Spenser ( John Lodger), who is disguised as a greengrocer in order to uncover the details of a plot to destroy London. Involved in the plot are a band of German and British spies who use a movie theatre and a pet shop as a ' front' to cover their activities. The owner of the theatre, Mr. Verloc ( Oscar Homolka), is involved in the plot, but his young wife ( Sylvia Sidney) and her younger brother Stevie ( Desmond Tester) are ignorant of it. Soon feeling that something is up and under pressure from his co-conspirators, Verloc sends Stevie to deliver something for him, only the young boy doesn't know he's delivering a time-bomb.

There are many standout scenes in this film. The first scene that comes to my mind, is in the beginning of the film: where London has just gone to total darkness. Several quick views of the power plants eventually lead us to the workmen who discover sand in the works. " Sabotage!" cries one. " Who did it?" The audience is given the answer immediately, as the face of Verloc, crisscrossed with the shadows, emerges to fill the screen. Classic Hitchcock! The second scene which stands out to me, is the entire sequence involving Stevie and his errand. In these scenes, Stevie is completely at the mercy of others, time, and the saboteurs plot. For example, the suspense Hitchcock builds on the bus with the conductor, who ironically warns Stevie, " Don't set fire to me or the other passengers." The last is the entire sequence in which Mrs. Verloc finds out what has just happened. This includes the Disney cartoon " Who killed Cock Robin?" and later the scene where Verloc confesses to his wife his part in the sabotage ( he does this against the background of the model boat which she and her brother had made) and the later final dinner scene, where not a word is spoken. This last part is so carefully arranged and so personal between the two, they are right in each others faces, silent.

Sabotage is really quite simply, a film rich in complexities of its moral ambiguities. Hitchcock examines really our thin veneer of security: the potential we have to sabotage our own lives and the lives of others. For example, the buying and selling of one?s own soul, using the disguise or ?cover? of a cinema or as a greengrocer. In the end, our own detective hero of the film faces his own moral dilemma, for his own recognition of his duty has begun to crumble.


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