Monday, 6 December 2010

Sabotage (1936) - Alfred Hitchcock

Now I could have sworn I'd seen this before, but after watching it I realised that that wasn't the case at all. I put it down to the fact that I have seen too many clips from it, and read more books about the fat man than is truly necessary. Either that or I've gotten it mixed up with another of Hitchcock's films, Saboteur perhaps. Or perhaps not. Anyway the important thing is I've seen it now, and bloody good it was too. This is one of the last films made by Hitchcock on British shores before he hot footed it across the Atlantic to escape the onslaught of WWII.

Now here's the thing with Hitch, his films can be divided really easily into the British years and the American years. It's that simple. Now I've seen every one of his American films (I own pretty much all of them), most are good, some are great, but there is some real tat in there too. Here's the rub, the British films that I have seen of his are fantastic. However most are public domain and have had shoddy DVD transfers. So I'm not quite up to snuff with my British Hitchcock, which is a shame since he's one of those directors who I do want to see everything by. Hint hint Criterion.

Anyway the above doesn't have all that much to do with what I'm supposed to be banging on about does it? So let's get down to it, Sabotage is one of those lean taut films that they used to make back in the day. It's only a little over an hour and a quarter long, no one really gets a back story to speak of and there aren't any real sub plots either. Everything is there to just move the film rapidly towards it's conclusion. Hitchcock himself whenever referring to this film would talk about the scene where a boy is sitting on a bus, and unbeknown to him is carrying a bomb that is going to explode at 13.45. Now in typical suspense style we get multiple shots of clocks, intercut with close ups of the package that is really a bomb. The editing becomes faster and faster until… BOOM the bomb explodes killing the boy (and more distressing for me a little dog). Hitchcock always regretted killing the boy, and felt he'd learned a lesson that would be used in the umpteen films made by him after this.

This is a nicely shot thriller, the acting is well above par and as I said before the writing is fat free. Hitch really had a knack for bringing everything together by the end of the film. If he'd shot The Big Lebowski, The Dude would have ended up with a rug at the end of it. Know what I mean? I don't watch nearly enough Hitchcock films (far too little time), but having watched this I'm determined to slip at least one a month into the DVD player. We'll soon see if I manage it or not.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...