Tonight I had the pleasure of watching Alfred Hitchcock's SABOTEUR for the very first time. This tale of a WWII aircraft factory worker on the run after being falsely accused of sabotage is terrific entertainment.
Robert Cummings plays Barry Kane, the man on the run who is looking (of course!) for the real saboteur. Cummings has exactly the right sort of "everyman" quality to be very believable as a factory worker. Lovely Priscilla Lane is a model who ends up aiding Barry, after initially wanting to turn him over to the police. I've seen Lane in a number of movies over the last year and really enjoy her.
There are a number of wonderful sequences -- a nerve-wracking party scene presages the famous party scene in NOTORIOUS a few years later -- climaxing with the final showdown at the Statue of Liberty. The film ends rather abruptly; it could have run longer than its 108 minutes to give us a bit more of a satisfying conclusion, but that's my only complaint.
The villain at the Statue of Liberty is played by Norman Lloyd, known to viewers of '80s TV as Dr. Auschlander on ST. ELSEWHERE. Otto Kruger and Ian Wolfe are among the other villains.
Classic Images published a nice profile of Priscilla Lane in 1999 which can be read online. Priscilla Lane made 22 movies in 11 years before leaving Hollywood behind. She had married an Air Force Colonel during the war and raised four children. She is buried beside her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.
Papers related to Priscilla and her performing sisters are archived at Simpson College.
SABOTEUR is available on DVD as a single-title release or as part of the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection. The DVD includes a 35-minute documentary about the making of the film, with actor Norman Lloyd describing the filming of the Statue of Liberty sequence in great detail. I wish the featurette had included information about the two leads and their roles, but what's included is very interesting. Production stills, Hitchcock's sketches, and the movie trailer are also included.
The film is also available on VHS.
SABOTEUR can next be seen on Turner Classic Movies on March 19, 2008.
The trailer can be seen here.