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Saboteur (1942)

PG | | Thriller, War | 24 April 1942 (USA)
An aircraft factory worker goes on the run after being wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Peter Viertel (original screen play), Joan Harrison (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
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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 Frances Carson ... Society Woman
Murray Alper ... Truck Driver
Kathryn Adams ... 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 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:

3000 MILES OF TERROR! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinquième colonne 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Associate Art Director Robert Boyle, Alfred Hitchcock knew "almost any shot will not hold longer than five seconds and that a matte in particular is going to be on for no more than five seconds. Then the audience doesn't have time to find the problems." See more »

Goofs

The bearded lady is identified in the credits as "Lorelei" but referred to as "Esmeralda" in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Barry Kane: Pat, this moment belongs to me. No matter what happens, they can never take it away from me.
[another dancer cuts in and dances off with Pat]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999) 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

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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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