Sunday, February 3, 2008

Saboteur (1942)

Three stars. I would probably watch it again some day.

At the beginning of the movie Barry (Robert Cummings) is working in an aircraft factory. Suddenly a fire starts in one of the hangers. When Barry and his friend rush over to help, the mysterious Mr. Fry (Norman Lloyd), hands them a fire extinguisher. Barry's friend enters the hanger and is blown up. Within a few hours, Barry is suspected of sabotage. It turns out that that fire extinguisher handed to him by Fry, that Barry then handed to his friend, was full of gasoline. Barry runs from the police to try to find Fry and clear his own name. Eventually, after a wonderful scene involving a horse chase (yay, a horse chase!), Barry takes refuge in the cabin of a wise blind man. Being a wise blind man, the man can of course hear that Barry is wearing handcuffs, knows Barry is wanted as a dangerous saboteur, but also is able to sense that Barry must be a good-hearted man who has been wrongly accused. The wise blind man tells his niece Pat (Priscilla Lane of Arsenic and Old Lace) to take Barry to the blacksmith to have his handcuffs removed. Pat is not quite convinced of Barry's innocence and tries to take him to the police station, and Barry is forced to abduct her and drag her along with him as he continues to run from the law.

It is worth watching this movie because:

*You get to see Hitchcock's art.
*Barry and Pat spend part of a night riding in a train caboose with some kindly (and some grumpy) circus performers. The bearded lady is very sweet, of course.
*Pat writes a "Help Me!" note in lipstick and throws it out the window of a skyscraper.
*There is an exciting chase and much drama inside and hanging from the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

This must have been a scary movie when it came out in 1942, what with the American citizens colluding with Nazis and committing horrifying acts of sabotage.

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