Video Essay: Alfred Hitchcock—Casting “Saboteur”


In the first video essay for The Old Hollywood Times, hear Alfred Hitchcock (interviewed by François Truffaut and translated by Helen Scott) explain the casting process for Saboteur. He discusses his disappointment in many of the actors he was given, and how he felt they ultimately hurt the final product. Also briefly mentioned are the film’s similarities to The 39 Steps, Foreign Correspondent, and North by Northwest.

This video essay was produced by Wesley Emblidge and edited by John Allegretti. The audio comes from tapes of the famous Hitchcock/Truffaut interview, which you can listen to in full here. Music came from Frank Skinner’s score to Saboteur and Donald Sosin’s score to Bucking Broadway. Clips came from the following, in order of appearance: Saboteur (1942), Foreign Correspondent (1940), The 39 Steps (1935), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), Moon Over Miami (1941), Spring Parade (1941), Rear Window (1954), The Birds (1963), Bucking Broadway (1917), Vertigo (1958), Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 4 (1958–9), and Limelight (1952).

Where to Watch

Buy it on Blu-ray / DVD

Rent it on iTunes / Amazon / Google Play

For More on Saboteur

Read our review of the film

Read the review in The New York Times

Read the review in Variety

Listen to a podcast about screenwriter Dorothy Parker from You Must Remember This

Read a look at the title sequence from The Art of the Title

Watch actor Norman Lloyd discuss the film in 2011