Recently my wife and I went to watch the film Hitchcock which details the making of the movie Psycho. The film was very good except for some clunky fantasy sequences, but the relevance to this post is that the movie reawakened my interest in Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. I’ve always been a fan of his work and I realized after watching the movie that I had almost none of his films on DVD and none on Blu-ray. This situation had to be corrected immediately.
I found the Limited Edition Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection on Amazon and after agonizing over it for a while (its $200!) I bought it. It arrived today filled with 15 films from the Master of Suspense.
First up is Saboteur staring Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane and a great appearance by Normal Lloyd as Fry. The story begins with the sabotage of an aircraft factory and the suspicion that falls on Barry (Cummings) who works at the plant and watched his friend die in the fire. Barry wants the police to question a guy named Fry who was there at the plant when it caught fire, but the police can’t seem to find any evidence he exists. Barry escapes from the police and head out in a search for the mysterious Fry.
Along the way he manages to acquire a female lead Pat (Lane) who starts as a kidnap victim and eventually, of course, winds up on his side. Barry manages to fall in with the cabal of saboteurs as they attempt to cause more mayhem in New York. The final scene is a wonderfully designed bit atop the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
There are some aspects of them film that seem very awkward here in the 21st Century. Most of the interaction between Lane and Cummings just doesn’t seem very realistic or even necessary for the plot. Ultimately though the film works because you want Barry to stop the bad guys and clear his name, and because Hitchcock accomplishes what he always does creating high drama and suspense right up until the final scene.
The Blu-Ray edition also contains a making of special narrated by Norman Lloyd who played Fry. He does an excellent job of describing some of the techniques used and personalizing the film and his time with Hitchcock. Usually I get bored with making of shorts after abut 2 minutes but this one was entertaining and compelling.
I can’t wait until the next picture in the collection which will be Shadow of a Doubt staring Joseph Cotton and Teresa Wright.