Sabotage

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Spy, Thriller

Terrorist Karl Verloc (Homolka) is engaged in a bombing spree in London using a trusting young boy Stevie (Tester), the little brother of his wife Sylvia (Sidney), to deliver the packages of destruction without knowing their contents. Meanwhile, neighborhood grocer Ted Spencer (Loder), actually an undercover Scotland Yard detective, is investigating Verloc's...read more

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Terrorist Karl Verloc (Homolka) is engaged in a bombing spree in London using a trusting young boy Stevie (Tester), the little brother of his wife Sylvia (Sidney), to deliver the packages of destruction without knowing their contents. Meanwhile, neighborhood grocer Ted Spencer (Loder),

actually an undercover Scotland Yard detective, is investigating Verloc's activities. A tense and chilling espionage picture, SABOTAGE contains one sequence that many consider among the director's most excruciatingly suspenseful; Hitchcock, however, later called it a mistake. While delivering a

package containing a time bomb, the unknowing Stevie is delayed several times along the way, and ends up on a public bus which stops and starts in traffic as the bomb ticks away. In an interview with Truffaut years later, Hitchcock observed that "the boy was involved in a situation that got him

too much sympathy from the audience, so that when the bomb exploded and he was killed, the public was resentful." Truffaut called the sequence a near abuse of cinematic power, and Hitchcock agreed, although his posture of repentance is difficult to reconcile with comparable cruelties in, for

instance, PSYCHO and FRENZY. SABOTAGE was banned in several countries where censors viewed it as a handbook for terrorism. Based on a Joseph Conrad novel entitled The Secret Agent, the film's title was changed to SABOTAGE to avoid confusion with Hitchcock's previous picture SECRET AGENT. The

confusion came later, however, in 1942, when Hitchcock directed SABOTEUR. If you're not confused yet, SABOTAGE was originally released in the US as A WOMAN ALONE.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Terrorist Karl Verloc (Homolka) is engaged in a bombing spree in London using a trusting young boy Stevie (Tester), the little brother of his wife Sylvia (Sidney), to deliver the packages of destruction without knowing their contents. Meanwhile, neighborho… (more)

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