Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Saboteur (1942)

Hitchcock! Hitchcock! Hitchcock!

Germans loooove their Expressionism

Genre: Thriller Romance

Starring: Priscilla Lane (The Roaring Twenties), Robert Cummings (Dial M for Murder; The Devil and Miss Jones - No, not the PORNO)

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock (The Lady Vanishes; Rebecca)

Overview: When an aircraft factory is sabotaged, the wrong man is hunted after by police. He must get to the bottom of it and clear his name before he's hung for treason.

Acting: In this film ripe with typical Hitchcockian direction, we have a professional cast who delivers superbly all the nuances of emotion without going overboard. Robert Cummings does such a good job of acting that not only do we forget he's acting, but we come back full circle and realize how awesome a job he is at not acting. That's right, a mobius strip of talent.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: This has that classic shot of people treacherously dangling from the hand of the Statue of Liberty, but no sir that's not all there is in store! I kept throwing my hands up for the whole first half of the film at the awesome and dynamic way that this was shot. The cinematographer did such a good job of impressing me with simple zoom-ins and establishing shots that I almost forgot to leave appreciation for the drama that unfolded, like that impressive warehouse fire. Man, I love big sets.
Rating: 9

Script: The best part about the writing is that rather than being all "Why did you do this?" "Because I'm greedy and evil! Mooahahahaha!", we engage in philosophical discussions about big picture stuff. Turns out it's almost better when a corrupt industrialist feels this common chump is so beneath him that he doesn't understand specifics. In fact, it's almost all too realistic. This is insanely relevant in today's Bush-laden world. And it flows nice too.
Rating: 9

Plot: The best part of Young And Innocent was the plot. I said so myself. Perhaps Hitchcock saw the value of a 'chasing while being chased' plot and rather than admitting defeat with the mediocre Young And Innocent, he decided to remake it with a much better flow. For as much as the ending was a touch anti-climactic, dramatic as it was, the whole film is a thrill-ride of mystery and double-cross very reminiscent of the profitable The 39 Steps. I was quite pleased with the trip indeed.
Rating: 8

Mood: Now perhaps I'm being a little prejudiced, having recently sat through a good load of free-floating toilet dregs, but then again perhaps it's the opposite. Maybe I'm reluctant to say that I was involved, engrossed and entwined in this tale because to date I hadn't expected much from this man whom I know deserves more respect. My fickle heart is warming to the chunky old Brit. It's about time.
Rating: 8

Liberty and Freedom for FALL!

Overall Rating: 84% (Throws In A Nice Wrench)

Aftertaste: I find it most interesting that Hitchcock should allow two of his films to share a title so close to one another. Just six years before his version of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent,

he released Sabotage. I guess the only thing more confusing would be The Man Who Knew Too Much, but that 1956 reworking of his original 1934 film was clearly intended to keep the same name. Point being. Don't call one movie Walking, and the other Walker. It makes the mind not like it, not to mention the logistical problems that arise when people call their girlfriends at the videostore on their cellphone.