Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Oskar Homolka plays a London movie-theatre owner who maintains a secret life as a paid terrorist. Homolka's wife Sylvia Sidney doesn't suspect Homolka of any wrongdoing, but she's picked up enough second-hand information about her husband's activities to arouse the interest of government agent (John Loder). Posing as a grocer, Loder moves next door to the Homolkas, befriending Sidney and her precocious young brother Desmond Tester. Sensing that he's being watched, Homolka sends Tester out to deliver a reel of film. The reel contains a time bomb, but Homolka is certain that the boy will deliver his package on time and will be safely away by the time the bomb explodes. Thus begins one of Hitchcock's most electrifying suspense sequences, as the unsuspecting boy is delayed en route to his destination. Sabotage was based on Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent; the film was retitled A Woman Alone in the US. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Sabotage
We won't tell you what happens. That would be to cheat Mr. Hitchcock of his just reward, but it is a warning what you may expect -- which, as is the way of all Hitchcock melodramas, is the unexpected.
Sabotage is possibly Hitchcock's most viscerally effective pre-Hollywood film. And yet it is not remembered half as warmly as some of his other films from that period.
One of Hitchcock's best British thrillers, Sabotage contains a controversial sequence set on a bus that even the director was conflicted about.
Early Hitchcock soundie still stylish, still grabs
Audience Reviews for Sabotage
For some reason, this seems to be one early Hitchcock film that is either underrated or overlooked period. That's a real shame in both instances, because this is one that is really quite something, and deserves a lot more attention and respect.
A sleeper agent terrorist sets off a bomb in London on a bus. His wife is rather unsuspecting of him secretly being a bad person, but she's heard just enough info about him to arouse the suspicions of her neighbor, and undercover Scotland Yard agent. From there, it becomes a race to prevent any more attacks, complicated by a set of circumstances that are extremely suspenseful and thrilling, and just a joy to watch.
Some of this actually sounds like contemporary events, despite coming from a film from 1937 that's based on written material from maybe earlier than that. Sylvia Sidney gives a terrific performance as the wife, and the set pieces, most notably a very tense sequence involving a bomb and when it might go off just really sing and make this an oldie that is extremely worth checking out.
Not one of Hitchcock's best, but still an entertaining and thrilling ride. I recommend this to any Hitchcock fan. It has a lot the same elements that make his later films unforgettable, only this film doesn't capitalize on them.
It's a great joy to learn from the old master's fluid and introspective narration, managing nail-biting moments and also concentrating on his actor's facial expressions.
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