7.2/10
22,866
165 user 61 critic

Saboteur (1942)

Passed | | Thriller, War | 24 April 1942 (USA)
A young man accused of sabotage goes on the lam to prove his innocence.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Peter Viertel (original screen play), Joan Harrison (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Priscilla Lane ... Patricia (Pat) Martin
Robert Cummings ... Barry Kane
Otto Kruger ... Charles Tobin
Alan Baxter ... Freeman
Clem Bevans ... Neilson
Norman Lloyd ... Frank Fry
Alma Kruger ... Mrs. Henrietta Sutton
Vaughan Glaser Vaughan Glaser ... Philip Martin aka Mr. Miller (as Vaughan Glazer)
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Mason
Ian Wolfe ... Robert
Frances Carson ... Society Woman
Murray Alper ... Truck Driver
Kathryn Adams ... Mrs. Brown -- Young Mother
Pedro de Cordoba ... Bones - Circus Troupe
Billy Curtis ... 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 City 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

3000 MILES OF TERROR! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the shots of police inspecting the long circus caravan at night, Sir 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

When Barry Kane is talking to Tobin at Tobin's ranch, Barry lights a pipe with both hands but the next shot shows the pipe only in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Freeman: The most important thing is to make sure of everyone around us.
Charles Tobin: Mr. Kane?
Mr. Freeman: I'm just not sure. I want to know that he's all right.
Charles Tobin: All right? What an understatement. He's much more than that! He's noble and fine and pure... So he pays the penalty that the noble and the fine and the pure must pay in this world: he's misjudged by everyone.
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Crazy Credits

Rather than finishing with "The End", the word "Finis" appears. This is perhaps an allusion to the fall of France, which is referred to in Pat's conversation with Fry inside the Statue of Liberty. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Music by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
Played by a band at the ship launching
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User Reviews

 
His American "39 Steps"
19 September 2004 | by JAMessickSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saboteur See more »

Filming Locations:

Owens Lake, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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