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A film with great directing, but sadly not a story that you can easily get invested in.
It starts with a great mystery premise and great cast going for it, but as it goes, it takes additional steps through coincidence and contrivance, finally coming to an abrupt, unsatisfying end.
The best thrilling movie ever made!
The first in a series of Hitchcock films I'll be reviewing and let's say this definitely isn't one of his most well known directed films. Saboteur follows an aircraft plant worker named Robert Cummings (Barry Kane) who is accused of sabotaging an aircraft leading to the death of people at his factory. On the run from the law Robert comes across a young lady named Patricia Martin (Priscilla Lane) who at first doesn't trust Robert, but soon realizes he's an innocent man. The two eventually find a much deeper conspiracy involving a group of Nazi spies lead by an American philanthropist named Charles Tobin (Otto Kruger). The two have to work together to prove Robert's innocence and stop the evil group from sabotaging an American Battleship. The movie isn't terrible, nor did I think it was particularly my cup of tea. I found it to be very slow paced (which let's face it a movie from 1942 kinda isn't a shocker for me). Hitchcock does a good job of building suspense here (his trademark) especially during certain sequences like the scene at the Statue of Liberty for example is well done. I can't really say its well acted since I think a lot of older actors during this time just kinda all seem the same (yes I'm being that guy right now). I didn't think Patricia adds much to this movie and kind of takes away from the plot a bit at times. This movie easily could have been twenty minutes shorter and while that may sound blasphemous because I'm talking about a Hitchcock film I think most people would agree with me here. Not the best start, but it's not a total dumpster fire yet.
Definitely not Hitchcock's best, but still OK. MAIN CHARACTER's actions didn't make a lot of sense, could've just not ran and told what he knew, and it's like he was trying to get killed towards the end.
Saboteur is another of Hitchcock's movies about an innocent man, wrongfully accused, on the run. What sets this movie apart from the others is its finale on the Statue of Liberty. Nevertheless, this film suffers from some issues with editing, where some scenes run too long, and other scenes are cut too short or not included at all. It's a good movie, but it feels like it was rushed to production.
Primo film che vedo di Hitchcock e ne sono rimasto soddisfatto, semplicemente perché il film mi è piaciuto e mi ha annoiato un pochettino soltanto in una piccola parte di film, ovvero quando Barry e Pat si trovano nella casa della signora Sutton. La trama si lascia seguire tranquillamente e dall'inizio alla fine è un continuo spostamento che si conclude alla Statua della Libertà ed è proprio lì che Barry riguadagna finalmente la libertà. Buona pellicola, realizzata benissimo e che ancora adesso funziona. Mi è piaciuto.
Saboteur is not Hitchcock's finest film.
Released in 1942 during the height of World War II, Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur serves more as propaganda rather than entertainment. Saboteur is written so melodramatically with on the nose dialogue about patriotic duty and loyalty to your country that you are taken straight out of the movie.
Absolutely atrocious writing that makes every single character a cliche stereotype of an American persona. I cannot believe that Hitchcock was fine with releasing a movie as contrived and overblown as Saboteur. It is not a classic by any means.
Unfortunately, the acting in Saboteur is atrociously overacted. Every actor in Saboteur is trying too hard. The sole exception of the delightfully villainous Otto Kruger, who eats up the scenery with a zealous greed. They do not feel realistic in the slightest. Robert Cummings is so bland as a lead that I could not believe that Norman Lloyd was not the protagonist in the beginning. Cummings is like a farce of a hero. He is the embodiment of the good American boy so much so that he comes across as generic and forgettable.
Similarly, Priscilla Lane is so ridiculous as the all American good girl trying to be a patriot that she feels fake. Lane could have been outdone by nearly any other actress. At least Lloyd tries his best to be a compelling spy with the little screen time he gets in Saboteur. Overall, the cast is terrible aside from Otto Kruger and Norman Lloyd.
In short, Saboteur is well shot and directed, but the heavy handed themes and dialogue make the film feel exclusively like a piece of American propaganda instead of a fleshed out movie. It is an easy watch, but a hard pass among Hitchcock's otherwise intriguing career.
Robert Cummings works at a munitions plant that is sabotaged. He knows that co-worker Norman Lloyd is the titular saboteur, but the police can find no trace of him and pin the blame on Cummings. He hits the road following a clue that leads him to the head saboteur Otto Kruger. Hitchcock crafts what is essentially an American version of "The 39 Steps" imbued with a lot of pro-America wartime enthusiasm. Cummings is a fairly lightweight lead, but Kruger balances it out with a very strong turn as an aristocratic fascist. Priscilla Lane gets a fairly rich role as a woman essentially kidnapped by Cummings who starts out as hostile, but grows to believe in his innocence. This is not top notch Hitchcock, but it's an extremely solid execution of a familiar formula.
Lacks in several areas but Hitchcock was finally finding something around this period, just not so much in this film.