Classic Film Guide

Saboteur (1942)

An incredibly ambitious film which is almost like a first draft of (maybe) Hitchcock's greatest film, North By Northwest (1959). It contains the familiar "innocent man, wrongly accused" etc. theme (as mentioned above in The 39 Steps (1935) description) which ultimately culminates in a thrilling climax at a famous American landmark. Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane star (though Hitchcock originally wanted Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck), while Otto Krueger plays the villain. There are many memorable scenes (& expensive set pieces), not the least of which is the leading pair encountering a truckload of circus freaks while escaping their pursuers, a deserted mining town, a blind man's home, and a shoot-out at Radio City Music Hall. I particularly like the scene where Mr. Cummings's character must enter the home of Mr. Krueger's while, predictably, he is having a party.

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