The Man Who Knew Too Much/Sabotage DVD
Sandra Bullock-Hightower | Malibu, CA | 06/22/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In film school I was torn between which version of exciting story is better. It may just be this one, with Hitchcock in fine form weaving dry British humor into a story of heart-pounding suspense; young girl is kidnapped to prevent her parents from revealing what they've learned about assassination plot. The film opens as Bob and Jill Lawrence are on a winter sports holiday with their teenage daughter Betty. When their friend Louis Bernard is shot whilst dancing with Jill, he tells Bob of an assassination about to take place in London. Fearing that their plot will be revealed, the assassins kidnap Betty in order to keep the Lawrence's quiet. Bob and Jill return to London and take matters into their own hands. Jill and Bob Lawrence are on a winter holiday with their daughter, Betty. While he is dancing with Jill, the secret agent Louis Bernard is shot to death. With his last words he tells Jill about an assassination planned by some terrorists, about to take place in London. Fearing their plan would be revealed, the spies kidnap Betty and carry her off to London with them. Bob and Jill come back to London too, searching for their daughter. Still an intact suspense plot by today's standards, the film exceeded the standards set by Hitchcock's Golden age work in an era when the cinematic suspense lexicon was still maturing. Performances are gritty and wholesome, when easily identifiable transplanted Americans are caught in a game of Cat and Mouse. Equally so, Sabotage is a key film in dark suspense. Not to be confused with Saboteur, a much more successful film, this is possibly one of Hitch's biggest downers. The film was a critical and financial failure in light of his previous works. In wartime Europe, Mr. Verloc, a cinema owner, is part of a gang of saboteurs in London. He lives with his wife, Sylvya, and her young brother, Stevie. They know nothing about Verloc's secret. Scotland Yard assigns an undercover detective, Ted, to work in a shop near the cinema and investigate the man. The head of the gang assigns Verloc to put a bomb in the metro. The man sends Stevie there with the "bag". Originall retitled A Woman Alone, in the US, the film is intricately dressed, with amazing sets built in exactitude for remarkable payoff with Hitch's classic shots. Look for a high drama tense scene when a potential murder takes place just after a quiet dinner for two. Though not much of a bonus package, this 2 DVD set has a much better look than your typical screener copy transfer double feature on a single dual layered DVD."