Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saboteur (1942)

Beefing on Hitchcock

A young man is accused of a crime he didn't commit, sabotage of an aircraft plant and the death of his best friend. On the run from the law, he discovers the real culprit and sets off to prove his innocence. He comes across a beautiful blonde woman who attempts to turn him in at first, but eventually comes to believe in his innocence.

Between my simple description of the story above and the climactic ending on a national monument, Saboteur has quite a bit too much in common with many other Hitchcock films, such as the later North By Northwest and the earlier 39 Steps. What makes this one different in my opinion is the boldly adorable characters and brash humour that is present but far more subdued in the other movies.

Robert Cummings is beyond charming throughout the entire picture, and at one point successfully pulls off remaining the hero of the film while using an innocent toddler as a human shield! Only in a Hitchcock film could we continue cheering for a person who purposefully endangered a small child simply to get away from his foes.

A running theme throughout this movie is the good-natured faith in the leading man's innocence by regular everyday people. While the law is chasing him as a traitor, and the real spies are out to get him, the simple average "Joes" are far more trusting and aid him in his quest along the way. Everyone from a truck driver to a group of circus freaks assist him in running from the law, all in the name of justice.

Saboteur quickly escalated its way into my small-but-growing group of favourite Hitchcock films, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone no matter what the situation.

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