The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sabotage (1936)

Although I am a fan of the early Hitchcock film The 39 Steps, I have not seen his 1936 film Sabotage.  Based on the review posted on MovieFanFare, however, I will now watch for this movie.
The film opens metaphorically with a close-up shot of a flashing light bulb (a warning signal?) and then transitions into a shot of a crowded London street right before a blackout. In true Hitchcockian fashion, the film cuts back to the flashing light bulb and we watch as the light slows its pace and then goes completely out upon the blackout. Another quick cut takes us to the Bijou,a movie theatre run by Karl Verloc (Oskar Homolka). Dressed in the typical accoutrement of a shady figure—a dark overcoat—Verloc seems to be sneaking back into his home just after the blackout hits. When he lays down on the couch and covers his face with a newspaper, you instantly know something just isn’t kosher. When his wife (Sylvia Sidney) comes to complain that the theatre’s patrons want their money back he tells her to give it to them, hinting that they don’t have to worry about money any more. Why?

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