Johnny Jones is an action reporter on a New York newspaper. The editor appoints him European correspondent because he is fed up with the dry, reports he currently gets. Jones' first assignment is to get the inside story on a secret treaty agreed between two European countries by the famous diplomat, Mr. Van Meer. However things don't go to plan and Jones enlists the help of a young woman to help track down a group of spies. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Producer Walter Wanger and director Alfred Hitchcock clashed repeatedly during shooting. Wanger kept wanting to have the script rewritten with every news story reporting changes in the European situation. Hitchcock, who hated making a movie without the script in absolutely final form before shooting began, pointed out that even if the film were up-to-date at the time of shooting it would be out of date by the time he finished post-production and it was ready for release. See more »
As the arguing couple depart the elevator at the top of the cathedral tower, its walls can be seen to shake hugely. See more »
Captain of Mohican:
Mr. Haverstock, I want a talk with you.
Captain of Mohican:
I just found out you're a newspaperman.
I guess that's right.
Captain of Mohican:
Oh, it is, eh? Why didn't you tell me that when I questioned you? You lied to me, sir!
My dear captain, when you've been shot down in a British plane by a German destroyer, 300 miles off the coast of England, latitude 45, and have been hanging on to a half-submerged wing for hours, waiting to drown, with half a dozen other stricken human beings, you're liable to forget you're a ...
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Entertaining, Exciting, and Masterfully Constructed
While not as well-known today as some of his later films, Alfred Hitchcock's spy thriller "Foreign Correspondent" is entertaining, exciting, and masterfully constructed. Though lacking the star power of some of the great director's more famous movies, the cast is very good, the settings are wonderfully conceived, and the story and writing keep the viewer's attention at all times. It has everything we hope for from Hitchcock: action, suspense, and a good dose of humor.
The plot is a complicated one, beginning when American reporter Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea) is sent to Europe just before the outbreak of World War II. Expected to send back news about the possibility of war, Jones stumbles across an espionage ring that is using kidnapping and murder in an attempt to get important government secrets for use in the coming war. The action goes from England to Holland and back to England, with Jones constantly escaping from danger as he tries to get the details of the spy plot for his newspaper. It does take some effort to follow everything that is happening, but there are many action sequences and a lot of good writing - with many fine touches of humor - that make it easy to pay attention.
In the lead role, McCrea performs with the easy-going understatement that typifies the heroes of Hitchcock's earlier films. Laraine Day is pleasant if unspectacular as McCrea's romantic interest, whose father (played nicely by Herbert Marshall) is also one of the key figures on the international scene. The supporting cast also has some fine actors. George Sanders for once gets to play a good guy, Robert Benchley is very funny as McCrea's fellow foreign correspondent, and Albert Basserman is touching as an old diplomat who has seen too much of the world's troubles.
But it is the action sequences and the settings that really make the film. Hitchcock's expert hand can be seen in almost every setting, and he displays a wealth of creative ideas here equal to any of his films. Particularly good are the memorable windmill scenes and the exciting climactic sequence in mid-ocean. This final sequence is not only thrilling, it also perfectly completes all of the film's action and themes.
"Foreign Correspondent" contains plenty of excitement, humor, and suspense, along with some of Hitchcock's best set pieces. It is highly recommended.
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