Olive Films has released the 1939 movie Sabotage on Blu-ray for your home viewing pleasure. Does this film deserve a spot in your collection? Read on to find out!
Harold Young directed Sabotage. Young is mostly known for his debut with The Scarlet Pimpernel. After that he had a string of B-movies like Lon Chaney’s The Mummy’s Tomb and Inner Sanctum. He also did some work for Disney including the animated feature The Three Caballeros. His strong history with B movies comes across in this modestly budgeted picture. Rather than being a strong cinematic experience it really comes across more like a TV show.
Sabotage stars Gordon Oliver (supporting actor in many television series) as Tommy Grayson. After a string of government test flight crashes, Tommy is arrested on suspicions of sabotage. Tommy’s father tries to help clear his son’s name but the town is out for social justice regardless of the facts. Will the town ever find out the real story?
The core idea of the film is an interesting one, especially considering the year it was released. However the film is played pretty straightforward. The audience is never kept in the dark about the true nature of the main characters so it’s mostly just watching it to see how it will play out. The movie is 67 minutes long so it moves by rather quickly. There is a romance subplot at the beginning but the film jumps right in relatively quickly.
The film is decent. I think the worst thing you can say about it is the fact that it is pretty average. The framing and lighting are competent. The main actor is a little wooden. A few of the side characters are played by older actors and a lot of their cranky old man dialogue is pretty funny. There isn’t much memorable about the performances or plot, and there aren’t any set pieces or memorable shots in the films. The director throws in a couple light reoccurring gags in film (like fingers being stuck in a Chinese finger trap) that slows the film down a little, but mostly the pacing is decently done.
The picture and sound quality of the Sabotage Blu-ray are good considering the age and budget of the film. There are scratches but nothing too noticeable. Occasionally a frame will jump here or there but it could just be an issue with the budget of the film rather than a bad transfer. There is a nice even amount of grain and the gradation of the black and white photography is nice. English subtitles are included.
There are no special features on this release.
Sabotage Final Thoughts:
Sabotage was a decent little film. The movie itself does not accomplish anything great. Of course, not every film needs to do that. The pacing is good and the acting decent. Sabotage is an average film with a dialogue filled plot. It’s a lot like an old TV show. The movie is enjoyable as long as you don’t expect Hitchcockian levels of intrigue or a gritty anti-hero from Warner Brothers.
The presentation by Olive Films is solid for a film of this era, however only being 67 minutes long without any special features sort of hurts it value. I don’t think this is a good film to blind buy. I also would not suggest paying full price to buy it unless this was a film that you have been waiting on to be released on Blu-ray. If you are interested in owning it I think this is a film you could put on your wishlist and buy during a sale. You can find it here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process