Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Morning Movie Review

Saboteur, released in 1942, is one of Alfred Hitchcock's first American movies. Given the title and the fact that the movie was released after the United States had entered World War II, one would probably guess that the movie has something to do about the war, and one would be correct. Barry Kane is a handsome young man working at an aircraft factory. When a fire breaks out there and Kane's friend and coworker is killed fighting the fire, the police conclude that the fire was sabotage and that Kane was the one who did it. Kane flees, trying to find a mysterious character named Frank Fry, whom Kane believes to be the real saboteur.

There are many elements of this movie that one can find in other, more famous Hitchcock films. It's got the ordinary man falsely accused of a horrible crime trying to prove his innocence. It's got the beautiful blonde love interest (here, a model named Patricia Martin, played by Priscilla Lane). It's even got chase scenes involving over-scale American monuments. Remember the famous sequence on Mount Rushmore in North By Northwest? Well, this movie has something similar involving the Status of Liberty.

I enjoyed this movie, as I do all of the Hitchcock films. I didn't think that it was as good as many of his more well-known movies, largely because there isn't a whole lot of tension here. Sure, the police are after Kane, but there never is any real doubt that he's innocent. If this had been the equal of some of Hitchcock's best films, there would have been. The viewer didn't know for sure until the end of To Catch A Thief, for example, that Cary Grant's John Robie wasn't The Cat. (It wouldn't be fair to mention that Priscilla Lane isn't as beautiful as Grace Kelly; it's true, but nobody is as beautiful as Grace Kelly.)

Edit: Okay, the quality of these movie poster pictures is really starting to annoy me. Does anybody have a better source than IMDB?


mamacita said...

I assume you tried Google images?

Sara said...

I second the Grace Kelley comment.