Monday, November 28, 2011

100. Sabotage


100.  We are a tenth of the way done.  I cannot even express how much I have learned since I started. 100 movies, 35 years, 901 to go.  Wow, that last number is large.

Hitchcock is as amazing here as he is in the fifties.  Sabotage is one of the best suspense movies of all time.  It is hard to communicate how truly tense this film is, especially in the bus scene.  Just watch it and you will be stunned how tight your grip is on innocent objects around you.

My one complaint is that acting is only so-so but the characters aren't really what the film is about so it doesn't matter much.  It is a little bit eerie watching this since we live in an age of extreme paranoia about terrorists.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Hitchcock later regretted the way the bus scene ended because of the excessive criticism he received after the film's release.

HITCHCOCK RADAR: He walks on a sidewalk about nine minutes in.

First part:


  1. Archive time...

    Oh, spoiler alert for anyone who has not seen the film yet.. PLEASE.. do stop reading now.

    Yes, with you all the way on this..

    I know Hitch is oft quoted as regretting killing the boy.. But I think it was a very brave thing to do. It certainly shocks and makes you pay attention. Not just to that sequence.. but the rest of the film.. and even to any other of his films. I mean.. if he can go against convention, break the rules like that.. Next time.. who knows?

  2. I hate it when children are hurt and Sabotage gets a minus on that account. Otherwise, yeah, this is suspense supreme.

  3. It's definitely shocking but I think the movie would have worked without it. Still a great film.

  4. I stick with my argument.
    OK, I see I am on dodgy ground here ..and, in view of recently expressed comments about disliking kids in movies, (especially overly cute ones), this can be open to misinterpretation. I am NOT advocating mass killings off of children in movies. BUT we are so used to children being immune to harm that we know what will happen. So when, in just this once, it happens .. we are properly shocked. As we should be. And, to re-stress my main original point, it makes us think next time we see a kid in peril .. well, maybe.. or .. if we see, just lets say, the lead main female character in peril, like ohh, I don't know .. taking a shower .. we genuinely don't know for sure she will survive.

  5. This does bring to mind something I've been pondering recently: to what extent should we use our world view to evaluate films. EG: murdering children is bad therefore it has no place in films. Rape is bad (as discussed elsewhere on this blog) so it shouldn't be in films. Gangsters are bad so we shouldn't glorify them in The Godfather. Mel Gibson's political views are bad so we shouldn't grant him the oxygen of publicity. All of which are easily defensible positions and I might agree with each, but if we don't give free rein to put pretty much anything into creative output then we'll be stuck with nothing but Matthew McConaughey romantic comedies and worthy historical dramas like Schindler's List.

    1. I don't think Amanda has said rape is bad so it shouldn't be in film (unless you are indicating that the assumption that rape is bad is just one of Amanda's opinions and not something you are conceding, in which case, yikes). What she has said is that it is used so often and we are so desensitized that it isn't shocking. As Ray said, we are properly shocked about this film, and I think our point is that rape should be equally shocking and unfortunately, it isn't due to its ubiquitousness.

  6. Well I don't think unpleasant topics should be avoided at all costs. I do often complain about rape in movies, but that is because I don't think the topic is handled with the responsibility it deserves.

  7. I was just thinking in general terms (although using examples that have been raised on here) of how our enjoyment of a film or even how we rate it is so often influenced by our worldview and wondering if that is a good thing