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Saboteur
USA 1942
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Running time 108 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars


Fans of Hitchcock will find many familiar elements of the master’s style here, from the innocent-man-on-the-run theme to the shootout in Radio City Music Hall and the battle between the hero and the Nazi agent atop the Statue of Liberty.  In itself ,however, this wartime flag-waver is unremarkable B-grade fare full of bad acting (the ever-dependable Otto Kruger delivers yet another debonair bad guy cliché) and bad dialogue (Dorothy Parker was one of the co-writers along with Joan Harrison and Peter Viertel but don’t let this get your hopes up, her work apparently is evident in the rather odd sequence involving the circus performers).

The story involves all-round good guy Barry Kane (Robert Cummings, an actor more commonly seen as a comic support) working at a Los Angeles (pronounced “angle-ease”) aircraft plant and becoming the framed victim of a saboteur, Frank Fry (Norman Lloyd). Barry twigs that a Nazi spy ring is behind the job and sets out to expose them before they do any more damage. Along the way he picks Priscilla Lane as a partner. This is what used to be described as Saturday matinee fare, slapdash nonsense that I’m sure Hitchcock (who appears as a deaf man outside a drug store) would have forgotten about the instant the shoot wrapped.

FYI: Saboteur is not to be confused with Hitchcock's 1936 British film Sabotage.

 

 

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