Mr. Hitchcock’s ‘variations on a theme’ are on a different level from his deplorable adaptation of Mr. Maugham’s Ashenden. The melodrama is convincingly realistic, perhaps because Mr. Hitchcock has left the screenplay to other hands.
Like most of Hitchcock's British films, SABOTAGE is too tightly wound for formal plausibility. It badly needs another half-hour at the very least after the bombing in order to earn its act of revenge, and the final ten minutes as they stand now are little more than a perfunctory and unconvincing coda designed to let us have our cake and blow it up, too. But in spite of its flaws, there are moments of poetry and power peppered throughout...
In the 1930s, Hitchcock was Lang with added humor and romance—which is certainly how this one begins. Then it goes to darker places than you imagined possible for the time, and ends with characters who are among his most complicated (or his most incoherent). Beautifully shot, and any humor is dipped in expressionism and madness. This was my 30th Hitchcock film, and it's left me feeling that I'm not done with him yet.