Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942) – 7/10 Hitchcock wrong man thriller movie review

Cast / crew
Priscilla Lane: Pat
Robert Cummings: Barry
Director and Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Otto Kruger: Tobin
Alan Baxter: Freeman
Clem Bevans: Neilson
Norman Lloyd: Fry
Alma Kruger: Mrs. Sutton
Writer (Screenplay): Peter Viertel
Writer (Screenplay): Joan Harrison
Writer (Screenplay): Dorothy Parker

Saboteur, Alfred Hitchcock’s (1942)

An aircraft factory worker is suspected of sabotage when his friend dies and the factory burns down but flees the police with the address of the man responsible.


Quality Hitchcock which delivers excitement, suspense, romance and humour with apparently no effort whatsoever.  Some of the speechifying grinds things to a halt and is clearly present for propaganda effect (the film was made in 1942, halfway through World War II). The two leads are pleasant enough without being particularly memorable (though Hitchcock’s use of Priscilla Lane means that her character being a model is not a negative point; imagine if a movie were made today where a model is the heroine, grief!) but when Hitchcock is doing what he does best, the set piece, the film is near faultless. The most famous set piece is the Statue of Liberty finalé which is superbly constructed and benefits from perfect special effects though the absence of music does seem an odd choice. There are many other superb set piece sequences including a shootout at a cinema, an inescapable charity ball, a fight inside a van, the opening aircraft factory sabotage sequence and more suspenseful scenes involving a blind man and a circus troupe. Hitchcock also uses a baby as a bullet-shield for the hero and I wonder just how many movie heroes did that!

This movie contains adult dialogue and violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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