1936—Alfred Hitchcock, director—starring Sylvia Sidney, Oscar Homolka and John Loder
Having just released a film called Secret Agent, Hitchcock’s next project—a film adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel The Secret Agent—couldn’t just be called after the book. In keeping with Hitch’s penchant for one-word titles, the movie was released as Sabotage. Conrad’s somewhat complex narrative is streamlined at the same time as it is converted into a compelling cinematic experience. (In fact, in place of the dingy shop kept by Conrad’s “secret agent” and his wife, Sabotage gives them a cinema to run!) The movie offers us several of Hitchcock’s trademark set pieces, and shows off both his mastery of montage and his dry, dark humour.