A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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
Alfred Hitchcock cut corners wherever he could. The mansion set was built onto a staircase left over from a Deanna Durbin musical; a back-lot storage building became the doomed aircraft plant. He also included a number of mattes and rear projections, the use of which has long been the subject of debate about the director (ingenious cinematic statement or obvious special effect?). See more »
(at around 1h 21 mins) Tobin descends the stairs and shakes hands with an officer. He shakes with his left hand. The images are mirrored. See more »
[Philip, a blind man, explains to Patricia why he believes Barry is innocent]
Don't you know I can see a great deal farther than you can? I can see intangible things. For example, innocence.
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You can't help but marvel at Hitchcock's early work. "Saboteur," for example, is so slick and quick that it's hard to believe he made this film over 60 years ago. There's some propaganda elements but they're woven into the mystery so well that the thing plays beautifully years later. You also get some previews of stuff that Hitchcock would do later--like using a national landmark as a backdrop. This time it's the Statue of Liberty. In "North by Northwest," of course, it's Mt. Rushmore. You'll also recognize things that pop up later in "Rear Window" and "Vertigo" in "Saboteur" but let's not give away the show. Robert Cummings is excellent as is the oh-so-charming Otto Kruger. Look for Hitchcock's mini-western in this one. It happens quickly so don't blink.
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