- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A quirky, patriotic film about Americans from the very-British Hitchcock. Cummings is an engineer accused of sabotage, who goes on the lam with Lane, and uncover foreign spies in New York City. Full of more patriotism in less than two hours than a full Forth of July, Hitchcock uses that love of country as a satire at times, which causes the film to lose suspense and story development. A small, entertaining film from the master of suspense. I give it a 3.5/5.
- Mr. Blandings
A very likeable film and, for me, easily one of Hitchcock's best. The first half of the movie moves at a brisk and exciting pace (a rarity for the usually plodding Hitch films), which is the best half by far. The scene with the blind man is a stand-out best. Unfortunately, the movie lags and meanders for the second half and scenes do not connect very well or very clearly. (For instance, it's a mystery how he escapes from the society woman's mansion after the starts the sprinklers). Love the use of the fitting and almost prophetic billboards. Bob Cummings is very good, as usual, and Priscilla Lane is good, too. The way the fifth column villains are portrayed as individual but creepy personalities is interesting. The Statue of Liberty finale is a classic but I always feel that Barry Kane wants to save Fry from falling is because he is the only one who can prove his innocence. That isn't the case but I always think this because to me that's the only way there can be tension to that scene. After all he's been through and the murder of his friend, why would want to save the life of the traitorous saboteur otherwise? Hitchcock always felt it was a mistake to put the life of the bad guy in jeopardy at the climax instead of the hero or the hero's girl, and, yeah, plainly it was a mistake. Norman Lloyd does such a good job of imbuing the character of Fry with sliminess that you want to see justice done--you find yourself rooting for gravity and poor tailoring.
imperfect but watchable
Have to agree that this film has its faults.But it has its good points.The climactic scene at the end where frank fry falls to his death.The screenplay is pretty good,and otto kruger is good as the saboteur ringleader tobin.And priscilla lane is always lovely to look at,though most consider her performance weak in this film.
- Jay Higgins
This classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller is filled with suspense and intrigue. The climactic scene on the Statue of Liberty is one of the most dramatic and chilling scenes ever filmed. The films only flaws are the weak lead performances, although Robert Cummings gives one of his best performances.
A Poor Hitchcock Film
- Joseph Dsida
Saboteur, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is very disappointing. Considering that it was done by Hitchcock, one wonders whether he was really intent on making the quality film he was capable of. Robert Cummings is poorly cast, and is clearly in over his head in this film. His portrayal of the lead character is wooden for the most part. He is so flawed that it appears he has worked hard just to memorize his lines much less act the part. Priscilla Lane is better in her part as the female lead, but again her acting is stilted and unbelievable. Perhaps the worst part of the film is the lack of continuity. Example: Cummings is in Los Angeles when the saboteurs say they will take him to New York City. In the next scene (after what would be a 2,000 mile automobile trip!) Cummings is immediately in New York in a beautifully tailored suit in the office of an executive. They must have taken a tailor along during the trip. Example: Priscilla Lane is man-handled by the saboteurs, and yet in consecutive scenes her hair styles are completely different but perfect in every detail. Did the saboteurs have a resident hair dresser with them? It is difficult to be critical of old films because modern film making has come a long way in portraying real human conditions and emotions. But considering Hitchcock's reputation, this film seriously misses the mark.
North By Northwest Prequel
- Bruce Reber
Hitchcock uses the same plot in "Saboteur" as "North By Northwest" - a falsely accused man trying to prove his innocence, pursued by and at the same time pursuing the real culprits, and the chase climaxed by a struggle on an American monument. In "Saboteur" the man is a defense plant worker during WW2 accused of sabotage, then fleeing east from LA to NY with a woman who may or may not believe he is innocent, and ending up tangling with the villain on the Statue of Liberty, trying unsuccessfully to save the villain's life. In "North By Northwest" the man is an advertising exec accused of murder and espionage fleeing west (or northwest), meeting a woman who may be an enemy spy but turns out to be working for the CIA, ending up on top of Mt. Rushmore, this time saving the woman from death while the real spy is nailed. While I think "Saboteur" is good, I still like "North By Northwest" better.
The domestic enemy, embedded in old money, is personified by Otto Kruger, with Dorothy Parker dialog.