Genre Guesstimation – Sabotage (1936)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Michael Eddy and it is Hitchcockian Films.

Hitchcock films by the master himself and the best “Hitchcock films” not directed by Hitchcock.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of January by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Mike!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Hitchcockian Films Movies.

“I call your face one, and you won’t get your money back on that. ” – Ted Spencer

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Jan 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A Scotland Yard detective is sent undercover to try and stop a group of terrorists from setting off a bomb in London.

My Take on it – This is yet another Hitchcock film that works quite well.

He builds up the suspense really well and gives us so much to enjoy as we slowly await to find out what will eventually happen.

The characters are created quite well and I loved the way that Hitchcock wasn’t afraid to allow them to constantly have their ideas and thoughts change as the events around them start to unfold.

The choice to not specifically state the reasons or political motivations of the terrorists is both frustrating and fascinating at the same time.

This film came out just a few years before World War II, but there was still a lot going on in Europe at the time to suspect a certain new dictator of causing trouble.

Hitchcock wanted the viewer to try and think about who could be behind these events but also wanted to show that it doesn’t really matter.

Bottom Line – Great Hitchcock film that keeps things quite suspenseful the entire time.  Loved the way that they give us characters who’s thoughts and ideas constantly evolve when they get new information about events around them. The fact that we don’t really understand the political motivations of the terrorists which is both frustrating and also a great idea at the same time. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In Inglourious Basterds (2009), it is mentioned that film is three times more flammable than paper. A boy is shown asking if he can bring film onto a bus. The bus driver says, “You can’t bring that on here. It’s flammable.” That scene is from this film. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Pretty close, but something is missing from making it even better and worthy or multiple viewings.

Rating – Globe Worthy


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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Sabotage (1936)

  1. Agree with your assessment on this one. It might also be noted – that the scene you mention – of the boy given the “gift” wrapped present to be taken aboard the bus – which turns out to be a bomb – and explodes – was a scene that Hitchcock later regretted including. He said that what worked was the suspense of the audience knowing it was a bomb – and the characters in the film NOT knowing – and that should have been enough. Play the suspense out to the bitter end. But to actually have the bomb detonate – and kill the passengers – and the boy carrying it – was an error in judgment.

    If it’s not already on your To See list – another WWII era espionage film – better than this one – is Foreign Correspondent with Joel McCrea. And Saboteur with Robert Cummings – featuring the iconic Statue of Liberty scene – is another good one. I think the MacGuffin was uranium – which Hitchcock and his writers came up with after doing some research. And since the atom bomb was being developed – he was actually questioned by the FBI on where he came up with that little tidbit.


  2. Pingback: Genre Grandeur January Finale – Frenzy (1972) – Michael Eddy |

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