This is actually the last movie I watched in 2015. A friend of mine was off work and I had him come over to my house for a few hours during the day on New Years Eve, he brought with him a stack of movies including his Mill Creek Hitchcock collection, of which this film was part of. We went film for film, I showed him the Marx Bros. “Horsefeathers” and he showed me “Sabotage.”
The film was okay, in fact it was almost bad when considering who the director was and comparing it to his later works. In short it’s pretty easy to see how this movie got put on a 5$ 20 movie box set, while films like “North by Northwest” and “Vertigo” and “Rear Window” and “Shadow of a Doubt” and “Psycho” are not available on such a set. The set does contain the film “The Man That Knew Too Much” and also a few others that I would be interested in seeing, so maybe I’ll pick it up if I see it available somewhere. Speaking of Hitchcock, my friend and I tried to pick up where the “Spot Hitchcock” shot was, but we couldn’t. I even tried to look it up on my phone, but I couldn’t find it there either. There were a lot of extras in this movie, so he could have been any ware. The film itself is not really “Bad” and certainly not “Unwatchable” it’s just a little too dark (w/r/t the film quality itself) and the voices are a little too mumbled, this presents a larger problem when there is a complicated story line to follow.
The film is notable for two reasons. First: it is based on a Joseph Conrad novel called “Secret Agent.” At this point I’ve only read one Conrad novel, “The Heart of Darkness” (which as most people know is the bases of “Apocalypse Now”), but that one novel is also one of my all-time favorites. Also interesting is that on the box set is another movie actually called “Secret Agent” but I believe it’s a different story altogether (and it has Peter Lorry, so how can you go wrong?). Second: the film stars a very young and very attractive Sylvia Sydney, who as you may or may not know was in another film, 52 years later, called “Beetlejuice” (which is one of my “October Film Standards”), where she played the Case Worker with the slit throat.
I’m not going to say this is a must see movie, this is one of the more obscure ones, something to watch, after you’ve seen the stable of Hitchcock standards. I’d recommend trying to ignore who the director of it is so you can enjoy it a little more.