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Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

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(original screen play), (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pat
...
...
Alan Baxter ...
...
...
Fry
Alma Kruger ...
Vaughan Glaser ...
Philip Martin (as Vaughan Glazer)
Dorothy Peterson ...
...
Frances Carson ...
Murray Alper ...
Kathryn Adams ...
Pedro de Cordoba ...
Bones - Circus Troupe
...
Midget - Circus Troupe
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Storyline

Los Angeles aircraft worker Barry Kane evades arrest after he is unjustly accused of sabotage. Following leads, he travels across the country to New York trying to clear his name by exposing a gang of fascist-supporting saboteurs led by apparently respectable Charles Tobin. Along the way, he involves Pat Martin, eventually preventing another major act of sabotage. They finally catch up with Frank Frye, the man who actually committed the act of sabotage at the aircraft factory. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unmasking the man behind your back! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinquième colonne  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the shots of police inspecting the long circus caravan at night, Alfred Hitchcock created perspective by using vehicles --and people --of different sizes, starting with full-sized trucks and extras at the closer end of the caravan, using smaller trucks and shorter people as it receded into the distance, and finally miniatures and cutouts with workable arms with tiny illuminations to simulate flashlights at the far end. See more »

Goofs

During the confrontation on the Statue of Liberty's torch, the waters of the background can be seen through the statue's arm. See more »

Quotes

Charles Tobin: You have all the makings of an outstanding boor.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Who Is Norman Lloyd? (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonight We Love
(uncredited)
Music from "Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Music Adapted by Freddy Martin and Ray Austin
Lyrics by Bobby Worth
Sung by the men in the car
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
His American "39 Steps"
19 September 2004 | by (Pocatello, Idaho) – See all my reviews

Hitchcock made at least 11 films about the ordinary man, wrongly accused, on the run (sometimes really running, sometimes not) to prove his innocence in a situation beyond his control, the first one being "The 39 Steps", which really made him popular in Great Britain. It really is his signature theme.

Others include "Young and Innocent", "Saboteur", "Spellbound", "Stage Fright", "Strangers on a Train", "I Confess", "To Catch a Thief", "The Wrong Man", "North by Northwest", and finally "Frenzy". "Saboteur" starts Robert Cummings as Barry Kane, a wartime aircraft plant worker during wartime accused of murdering his co-worker and best friend during an act of sabotage on the plant. He meets up with model Patricia Martin, played by actress Priscilla Lane, during his run from the law, and later, of course, the various Nazi/Fascist sympathizers along the way.

"Saboteur" is mainly like "The 39 Steps", even including similar plot devices such as handcuffs, the blonde who doesn't trust the main character in the beginning, a race across the country (in one case London to Scotland, and in the other California to New York), and meeting the "colorful" locals along the way. And so, just like "The Man Who Knew Too Much", I believe this is an American remake of one of Hitchcock's earlier works.

I think Robert Cummings was chosen because he comes across as a very ordinary American, sort of an "everyman" with whom the audience can identify. I like Priscilla Lane because her character is a more involved in the action than Madeline Carroll in "The 39 Steps" and Ruth Roman in "Strangers on a Train". As mentioned elsewhere, though, Otto Kruger steals the show as the villain. I also liked Vaughan Glaser's performance as the blind uncle; his lines are great. There are some funny touches all along the way for some comic relief, such as road signs featuring Priscilla Lane's character on them, and circus sideshow performers, and the truck driver, Murray Alper. Contrary to other opinions here, there aren't too many characters who believe Barry Kane's innocence immediately.

There are some slow parts, mainly when the action first moves to New York, but it picks up quickly when the last planned act of the fifth columnists gets underway.

It's one of my favorite films from Hitchcock (I put it in my top 5), especially in these days of the new war on terrorism. I think it hits home.

It makes you think, "Could my coworker be involved in something evil?" In fact, one of the movie posters for "Saboteur" proclaimed "Watch Out for the Man behind your back!" Imagine how that played in the mind of adults during the Second World War.


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