Saturday, March 23, 2013

SABOTEUR - Alfred Hitchcock - "3000 Miles Of Terror" (1942)

Welcome to Saturday Sabotage down in the dark dank depths of The Dungeon! It's kind of like the old Saturday Matinee, but without the cartoons, the "Three Stooges" or "Unlock a Lock!"

Let's just get it straight from the get go, "Saboteur" is just one of the many excellent films that have been created by one of the most creative minds to ever roam the planet, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock! If you ever read anything bad about this movie, just remember it's a Helluva lot easier to be a critic than it is to make a good movie!!!!

It's 1942, right in the midst of WWII, and Alfie makes a flick about the sabotaging of an aircraft production facility, and the paranoia of being the guy who is wrongly accused of the deed!

It's break time, and during the hustle and bustle, one of the workers drops his wallet!

Bob Cummings as Barry Kane is one of the guys who finds and returns the wallet! The next thing you know the whole place is one gigantic fiery inferno, and Bob's best buddy is burnt to a crisp in the ensuring blaze! It turns out the fire extinguisher he was using was full of gasoline! Bob in turn gets blamed for the whole thing and has to take it on the lam!

The cops are after Barry, and the paranoia sets in immediately, but Barry has a flashback on the letter dropped back at the plant, and  he decides to head to the small little burg of Springville, California that he saw the name of in the address on that letter!  Now Springville is a real place, I should know, my ex-wife used to live there. It's about 20 miles east of Porterville up in the hills of central California on the Tule River, population a couple of hundred at best! It wasn't just used in name, part of "Saboteur" was actually filmed there!

Barry hitchhikes his way out of L.A., and once he arrives in Springville, he finds nothing but peace and tranquility at the Deep Springs Ranch!

The next thing you know, the local Sheriff shows up, with plans to escort Barry to jail, but not before he was able to get another clue as to what the freakin' Hell was going on!

Crossing over the Tule River ( and I've never seen a bridge like this up there) Barry scuffles with the Sheriff, and is able to escape by jumping into the river!

Barry makes his way handcuffed into the depths of the mountains and stumbles upon the home of a blind musician! To me, this whole scene was very reminiscent of when the Frankenstein monster is taken in by the blind guy! Just like Daredevil, they might be blind but their senses are keen!

The kindly blind man is played by Vaughan ( Mr. Bradley in the Henry Aldrich series of films) Glaser, and even though he knows Barry has handcuffs on, he senses that he is really a good guy, and tells his niece Priscilla (Brother Rat) Lane as Pat Martin to take him to the local blacksmith and have his chains removed!

Pat Martin is a model and is seen on these wild recurring billboards throughout the film! She doesn't listen to her uncle, and decides to turn Barry in to the authorities!

This is where she ends up when that all fails!

Just look at this shot, and try and tell me you don't want to see this movie! I don't believe you!! Pat and Barry are forced to maintain some semblance of a relationship!

A circus train comes passing by and Barry and Pat hitch a ride on the last car. There is a fantastic debate as to whether to let them stay or not. Pedro de Cordoba as Bones was in 124 movies including "Devil Doll." Billy Curtis as the little General midget was around in small roles for years and argues that the couple should be thrown off the train! Anita Sharp-Bolster, looking like a cross between John Kerry and Abe Lincoln is the malevolent bearded lady! The Siamese twins were played by real life twins (not Siamese) Jean and Lynn Romer, and they can't agree on anything! This whole scene is really my favorite part of the movie!

Barry and Pat end up in Soda City, an abandoned place that looks like Primm, Nevada before Whiskey Pete's was built! In reality, it's Owens Lake, California!

For many, like me, Robert Cummings will always be remembered for the great comedic "Bob Cummings Show" aka "Love That Bob!" that ran for 127 episodes from 1955 to 1959! Then another version of "The Bob Cummings Show" returned for 22 episodes in 1962-62, then from 1964-65 he starred with Julie Newmar in the Sci-Fi comedy "My Living Doll!" Bob was also in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "King Nine Will Not Return!"

One more billboard just to reassure you that Barry's life is doomed!

Next stop, The Big Apple, and lots of clues as to where this is all heading!!

Barry and Pat end up at a party for some very high-rolling un-american sympathizers and as you'll hear in the short little sound clip, any chance of getting anybody's attention is a total waste of time! The music in "Saboteur" was created by the genius mind of Frank Skinner, one of the most prolific composers in Hollywood history!

From there, the final chase is on, and it leads from a movie theatre to...............

.........the big climax at the Statue of Liberty! Actually, "Saboteur" is one long chase movie, and the ending is just a bit too much, but everything in between is quite spectacular, and just in case you haven't ever seen it, it's a movie that is well worth the effort to seek out, and if you don't want to buy it, or wait for it to come back on TV, it is available on disc from Netflix!

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