Sabotage (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sabotage (1937)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this film, Oskar Homolka plays a London movie-theatre owner who maintains a secret life as a paid terrorist. Homolka's wife Sylvia Sidney doesn't suspect Homolka of any wrongdoing, but she's picked up enough secondhand information about her husband's activities to arouse the interest of government agent John Loder.

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Sylvia Sidney
as Mrs. Verloc
Oscar Homolka
as Her Husband
Desmond Tester
as Her Young Brother
Matthew Boulton
as Supt. Talbot
S.J. Warmington
as Hollingshead
William Dewhurst
as A.S. Chatman
Austin Trevor
as Vladimir
Aubrey Mather
as Greengrocer
Peter Bull
as Michaelis
Charles Hawtrey
as Studious Youth
Pamela Bevan
as Miss Chatham's Daughter (uncredited)
Martita Hunt
as Miss Chatham - The Professor's Daughter (uncredited)
Sam Wilkinson
as Cinema Patron Who Wants His Money Back (uncredited)
Clare Greet
as Mrs. Jones - Cook (uncredited)
Albert Chevalier
as Cinema Commissioner (uncredited)
Frederick Piper
as Bus Conductor (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Sabotage

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1)

We won't tell you what happens. That would be to cheat Mr. Hitchcock of his just reward, but it is a warning what you may expect -- which, as is the way of all Hitchcock melodramas, is the unexpected.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

[The film] "is inspired by Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent." The director himself declares so... Skillful photography, clumsy cinematography -- those are the unimpassioned judgments that Hitchcock's latest film "inspires" in me.

December 14, 2021 | Full Review…

A finely handled English thriller about a London anarchist ring.

October 1, 2019 | Full Review…

The individual genius of Hitchcock is very clearly shown in the distinctive and original direction.

January 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Sabotage is possibly Hitchcock's most viscerally effective pre-Hollywood film. And yet it is not remembered half as warmly as some of his other films from that period.

April 16, 2015 | Full Review…

One of Hitchcock's best British thrillers, Sabotage contains a controversial sequence set on a bus that even the director was conflicted about.

July 24, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sabotage

Hitchcock at his most ruthless in this tale of saboteurs in London told to step up their game after 'merely' blacking out the whole city because 'that wasn't big enough'. Things can only get direr after that. Hitch plays a lot with under-the-table messaging too as much of the action happens in a movie theater, and would Hitch use those moments to speak to us? You bet. Sylvia Sydney would never work with him again after this ratchet of tension.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Hitchcock knows how to combine an espionage plot with humor, and this film can also be very tense (especially in a key scene of a boy carrying a package throughout the city and on a bus), even if it is not always so effective and suffers a bit from some weak narrative choices.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


For some reason, this seems to be one early Hitchcock film that is either underrated or overlooked period. That's a real shame in both instances, because this is one that is really quite something, and deserves a lot more attention and respect. A sleeper agent terrorist sets off a bomb in London on a bus. His wife is rather unsuspecting of him secretly being a bad person, but she's heard just enough info about him to arouse the suspicions of her neighbor, and undercover Scotland Yard agent. From there, it becomes a race to prevent any more attacks, complicated by a set of circumstances that are extremely suspenseful and thrilling, and just a joy to watch. Some of this actually sounds like contemporary events, despite coming from a film from 1937 that's based on written material from maybe earlier than that. Sylvia Sidney gives a terrific performance as the wife, and the set pieces, most notably a very tense sequence involving a bomb and when it might go off just really sing and make this an oldie that is extremely worth checking out.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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