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Encyclopedia > Sabotage (movie)

Sabotage is a 1936 British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which tells the story of Carl Verloc (played by Oscar Homolka), a terrorist from an unnamed European country, who conducts a series of attacks in London. As the story develops, his wife, played by Sylvia Sidney, realized that her husband is behind the attacks that are terrorizing the city. When her younger brother, Stevie (played by Desmond Tester) is killed, unknowingly carrying a bomb for Verloc, Mrs Verloc joins forces with Sergeant Ted Spencer (John Loder, who replaced Robert Donat who was too ill from asthma to play the part) from Scotland Yard to stop her husband and end the bombing spree before another major attack. 1936 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Alfred Hitchcock Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was a British film director closely associated with the suspense genre. ... Oscar Homolka (August 12, 1898 – January 27, 1978) is an actor. ... The word terrorism is controversial and has many definitions, none of which are universally accepted. ... St Stevens Tower - The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster which contains Big Ben London (see also different names) is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... Sylvia Sidney (August 8, 1910 - July 1, 1999) was an American actress. ... Robert Donat (1905-1958) Friedrich Robert Donath was born in Withington, Manchester of Polish descent on March 18, 1905 and died London on June 9, 1958 from a cerebral haemorrhage, aged 53. ... New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, often referred to as simply Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ...


Based on Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent, the film was produced in the years immediately preceding World War II, and the unnamed hostile power behind the bombings is assumed to be Nazi Germany. At the time of its release, Europe was already preparing for war, and espionage was rampant, particularly between the European powers. The film can therefore be interpreted as a warning to civilians to be aware of foreigners, who threatened the safety of the country. Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 – August 3, 1924) was a Polish-born British novelist. ... The Secret Agent is a 1907 novel by Joseph Conrad. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km (over 11 miles) into the air, August 9, 1945 after the Allied atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Espionage is the practice of obtaining secrets (spying) from rivals or enemies for military, political, or economic advantage. ...


Hitchcock took considerable liberties with the novel, transforming the highly political anarchists and socialists into foreign agents without any obvious political leanings. The tobacconist's shop is transformed into a movie theater (with the films being shown echoing the story), and the policeman investigating the case is cast as an undercover officer posing as a greengrocer. To critics, however, the most troubling change was in the character of Stevie, Mrs Verloc's young brother, who is portrayed as a simpleton, with few of the visionary attributes of his literary counterparts. Stevie's death is a climactic moment in the plot, providing insight into Hitchcock's views about how the innocent suffer through random acts of violence. When a critic condemned Stevie's death as brutal and unnecessary, however, Hitchcock refused to defend his position and said that he regretted including it in the film--although with this he remained faithful to the novel. Anarchism is a term which encompasses a variety of political philosophies, social movements, and political ideologies that advocate the abolition of all forms of coercion. ... The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ...


The fact that the film was set in a movie theater allowed Hitchcock to reference the plot with contemporary films and storylines. Perhaps the most famous of these is the final film sequence, an animated short produced by Walt Disney. Walt Disney Walter Elias Walt Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sabotage (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (600 words)
Sabotage, also released as A Woman Alone, is a 1936 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Karl Verloc (played by Oscar Homolka), the owner of a cinema, is part of a gang of saboteurs from an unnamed European country who conduct a series of attacks in London.
Verloc's shop is transformed into a movie theater (with the films being shown echoing the story), and the policeman investigating the case is cast as an undercover officer posing as a greengrocer.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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