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
For the factory sabotage, Alfred Hitchcock simply used a shot of the front of the building with black smoke slowly billowing into the frame. Robert Boyle said the director made a drawing "in which he drew just the big doors and then he did a big scribble. He said, 'There will be an explosion.' And I thought that scribble more illuminating than the finest drawing you could make." See more »
When Barry reads the newspaper on the street after escaping from the mansion, the headline, partially visible is "BATTLESHIP LA" with sub headings "Slides down ways today". Later after Pat drops her note, the radio refers to the launch of the Navy's capital ship, the USS Alaska. See more »
Power, yes... I want that as much as you want your job, or that girl. We all have different tastes as you can see, only I'm willing to back my tastes with the necessary force.
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It may not be top shelf Hitchcock but 'Saboteur' is still a very entertaining thriller.
'Saboteur' isn't one of Hitchcock's best known movies but it shouldn't be completely dismissed for that reason. It's a very entertaining "innocent man on the run" thriller, a theme he had previously used to great success in 'The 39 Steps', and would later recycle in one of his most popular movies 'North By Northwest' (and one which still gets used time and time again by Hollywood - see 'The Fugitive', 'Enemy Of The State', 'Minority Report' and countless others). Some people slam Robert Cummings (who later appeared in Hitchcock's 'Dial M For Murder') as being a bit lightweight, but I think he's actually pretty good as a leading man, and Priscilla Lane ('Arsenic And Old Lace') is also not bad, and the two do show some on screen chemistry. Of course with more charismatic leads 'Saboteur' would have been greatly improved, but as it is it's good enough. One actor in the cast I think is really terrific is Otto Kruger ('Murder, My Sweet') who plays Tobin, one of Hitchcock's best ever villains. 'Saboteur' is action packed and keeps things interesting. There's a good sequence with a traveling circus, memorable bit parts from a truck driver and a blind man, and the climax is great stuff and vintage Hitch. If you are new to Hitchcock I could name at least a dozen of his movies to watch before this one, but if you've seen his "greatest hits" try 'Saboteur', it's lots of fun.
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