Sabotage (December 2, 1936)

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Alfred Hitchcock's presentation of Sabotage
 

Released on December 2, 1936: The master of suspense is at it again as Alfred Hitchcock unwinds a tale of sabotage in London when the lights go out.

Produced by Michael Balcon

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Actors: Silvia Sidney (Mrs. Sylvia Verloc), Oskar Homolka (Karl Verloc), Desmond Tester (Stevie, Sylvia's young brother), John Loder (Detective Sergeant Ted Spencer), Joyce Barbour (Renee), Matthew Boulton (Scotland Yard Superintendent Talbot), S.J. Warmington (Scotland Yard Detective Hollingshead), William Dewhurst (Professor A.F. Chatman), Pamela Bevan (Miss Chatham's daughter), Peter Bull (Michelis, conspirator), Albert Chevalier (cinema commissioner), Clare Greet (Mrs. Jones the cook), Charles Hawtrey (studious youth at aquarium), Alfred Hitchcock (man buying movie ticket), Martita Hunt (Miss Chatham, professor's daughter), Mike Johnson (man in cinema crowd), Hubert Leslie (conspirator), Aubrey Mather (greengrocer), Frederick Piper (bus conductor), Fred Schwartz (tailor), Torin Thatcher (Yunct, conspirator), Austin Trevor (Vladimir, paymaster at aquarium), Jack Vyvian (Detective), Sam Wilkinson (cinema patron asking for his money back)

 

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The Birds Will Sing at 1:45

Do you know what famous authors, celebrity movie stars, legendary musicians and sports legends all have in common? . . . . They were none of those things when they started their careers. Legendary director and creator of suspenseful goose-bumps Alfred Hitchcock, like every master of their craft had a learning curve. This story taught him an important lesson in suspense . . . In this one he got it wrong, . . . . Even though it was faithful to the plot of the novel it was patterned after. He would later apologize and admit that he got it wrong . . . A suspense director never kills the good guys . . . He takes them to the edge of death, with terror and suspense growing almost beyond what we think we can endure . . . And then, at the last moment, the good guy is saved from destruction, and the audience sighs a big sigh of relief. . . . There must be an escape valve for the horror after it has built to its apex. . . . The audience must leave happy, and if a character that they have come to know and love dies, they won't leave the theater happy. Hitchcock learned this lesson when he looked back on this movie. The other notable bit of movie trivia happens because this story was filmed in England, before Hitchcock came to Hollywood. . . One vital part of the story, also faithful to the novel, would not have been permitted on screen for any story shown to an American audience. . . . No one in an American movie during the years of Hays Office censorship was ever permitted to commit cold-blooded murder without paying a price for it. . . . But it happens in this story, and you probably won’t mind. We are in 1936 London, and foreign agents are trying to cause havoc and destruction in the city.

As the story opens the whole city of London has lost electric power and darkness engulfs the city. A man who runs a movie theater rushes through the darkness returning to his theater. . . He has sabotaged the electric system in London and expects a big payday for it. . . Unfortunately the lights soon return to London and it turns out to be a big laugh . . . No one in London was terrified by the blackout . . . . Our theater owner will not get paid for the job because it didn’t create any fear. . . . He must now do something more spectacular to earn his extra cash. . . . He must plant a huge bomb to go off on Saturday at 1:45 in a very crowded location. He finds the bomb maker and arranges to have the bomb built and delivered to him on Saturday morning. The bomb is delivered along with two parakeets, and our saboteur is ready to deliver the ticking time bomb when he spots a Scotland Yard Detective talking to his wife. . . . He is already under suspicion for the blackout and he must not get caught delivering a bomb today. . . . But he must get the bomb to the crowded spot before 1:45, when it is set to explode. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Clare Greet
Clare Greet
Desmond Tester and Oskar Homolka
Desmond Tester and Oskar Homolka
Desmond Tester
Desmond Tester
Frederick Piper and Desmond Tester
Frederick Piper and Desmond Tester
John Loder and Aubrey Mather
John Loder and Aubrey Mather
John Loder and Aubrey Mather
John Loder and Aubrey Mather
John Loder and Matthew Boulton
John Loder and Matthew Boulton
John Loder, Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
John Loder, Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
John Loder and Sylvia Sidney
John Loder and Sylvia Sidney
John Loder
John Loder
Martita Hunt and Pamela Bevan
Martita Hunt and Pamela Bevan
Martita Hunt
Martita Hunt
Matthew Boulton and John Loder
Matthew Boulton and John Loder
Oskar Homolka
Oskar Homolka
Oskar Homolka and Aubrey Mather
Oskar Homolka and Aubrey Mather
Oskar Homolka and Sylvia Sidney
Oskar Homolka and Sylvia Sidney
Oscar Homolka and William Dewhurst
Oscar Homolka and William Dewhurst
Oskar Homolka
Oskar Homolka
Peter Bull
Peter Bull
Peter Bull
Peter Bull
S.J. Warmington
S.J. Warmington
Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka
Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney
Torin Thatcher
Torin Thatcher
William Dewhurst and Martita Hunt
William Dewhurst and Martita Hunt
William Dewhurst and Oskar Homolka
William Dewhurst and Oskar Homolka
William Dewhurst
William Dewhurst