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Sabotage (1936)

Not Rated | | Crime, 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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Joseph Conrad (novel), Charles Bennett (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Sidney ... Mrs. Verloc (as Sylvia Sydney)
Oskar Homolka ... Karl Anton Verloc (as Oscar Homolka)
Desmond Tester ... Stevie
John Loder ... Ted Spencer
Joyce Barbour Joyce Barbour ... Renee
Matthew Boulton ... Superintendent Talbot
S.J. Warmington ... Hollingshead
William Dewhurst ... The Professor
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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:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Married a Murderer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS or DVD copy of this movie. Therefore, many of the versions of this movie 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 this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Ted is leading Mrs. Verloc to the police station, his arms go from being at his side to around her between shots. 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

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User Reviews

 
The best of Hitch's early British films...
4 March 1999 | by Don-102See 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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