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Sabotage (1936)

Approved | | Thriller | 11 January 1937 (USA)
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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(novel), (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Verloc (as Sylvia Sydney)
...
Karl Anton Verloc (as Oscar Homolka)
...
...
Joyce Barbour ...
Renee
Matthew Boulton ...
Superintendent Talbot
S.J. Warmington ...
Hollingshead
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:

Approved | 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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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

Referenced in The Dick Cavett Show: Alfred Hitchcock (1972) 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

 
The best of Hitch's early British films...
4 March 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

Most buffs and fans of Alfred Hitchcock point to 39 STEPS or LADY VANISHES as his best work before he hit Hollywood in 1940. SABOTAGE is really the first time we see a pure thriller, specifically a spy thriller, which became so commonplace throughout the master's career. The main character is an undercover agent, looking to break up a ring of saboteurs bent on destroying London. Hitch places the head villain within, what else, a cinema, something that adds to the already rich atmosphere. The film was also shot on location, an oddity for Hitch.

Check out the camera movements and use of shadows in regard to the villain (played by a creepy looking Oscar Homolka). They reveal a lot to us the viewer and lead us to hope for his wife to figure it all out. An ominous image of London falling is depicted from the point of view of Oscar. This is pretty basic stuff, but, considering how old the film is, it still packs a punch. The scene on the bus, where a young boy carries a film tin which may or may not carry a bomb is extremely suspenseful and well-done. We even see a British crowd in the movie theater watching a Disney flick (which is well noted in the opening credits).

1934's THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH was an effective early thriller, better than the 1956 remake, however, this is the film to start with if studying Hitchcock's career. You may find yourself preferring some of his British films, like MAN WHO KNEW, to his work in Hollywood. SABOTAGE provides the goods for the first time.


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