7.6/10
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135 user 81 critic

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Charles Bennett (screenplay), Joan Harrison (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McCrea ... John Jones
Laraine Day ... Carol Fisher
Herbert Marshall ... Stephen Fisher
George Sanders ... Scott ffolliott
Albert Bassermann ... Van Meer (as Albert Basserman)
Robert Benchley ... Stebbins
Edmund Gwenn ... Rowley
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Mr. Krug (as Eduardo Cianelli)
Harry Davenport ... Mr. Powers
Martin Kosleck ... Tramp
Frances Carson Frances Carson ... Mrs. Sprague
Ian Wolfe ... Stiles
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Assassin
Eddie Conrad ... Latvian (as Edward Conrad)
Charles Halton ... Bradley
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MYSTERY IN WHISPERS that cracks like THUNDER! (original print ad - many caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch | Latvian

Release Date:

16 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Personal History See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,484,588
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scripting stage, a second unit crew was sent to Europe to shoot establishing shots. Sir Alfred Hitchcock later told François Truffaut of the dangers of travel at that time: "this was in 1940, you see, and the cameraman who went over the first time from London to Amsterdam was torpedoed and lost all his equipment. He had to go over a second time." Location shots for the movie were sparse, however. For the most part, Hitchcock utilized elaborate and expensive sets. He always had a keen interest in set design, and would do rough sketches of ideas for his Art Directors. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where the passengers are scrambling to get out of the sinking Clipper, a man grabs a suitcase and smashes a window, leaving a lot of large, jagged pieces of glass in the frame. He then climbs through the window and sits directly on the jagged glass. See more »

Quotes

Stebbins: Oh, Miss, please... A Scotch and soda, and a glass of milk.
John Jones: A glass of milk?
Stebbins: Yeah, I'm on the wagon. I went to the doctor today to see about these jitters I got, and he said it was the wagon for a month, or a whole new set of organs. I can't afford a whole new set of organs.
John Jones: Well, if I'd known you were on the wagon, I could've got along all right without this, but as long as it's here...
[toasts]
John Jones: Good luck!
Stebbins: [watches him drink] Good?
John Jones: Yes, it's just like any other Scotch and soda.
Stebbins: [morosely] That's ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: To those intrepid ones who went across the seas to be the eyes and ears of America... To those forthright ones who early saw the clouds of war while many of us at home were seeing rainbows... To those clear-headed ones who now stand like recording angels among the dead and dying... To the Foreign Correspondents - this motion picture is dedicated. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the German version the final radio address was missing. The movie ends with the newspaper headlines. See more »

Connections

References Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Harlem Congo
(1937)
by Chick Webb and his Orchestra, arr. by Charlie Dixon
[The phonograph record played by the kidnappers during Van Meer's interrogation]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In many ways, the master's most accessible film
24 May 2001 | by sultana-1See all my reviews

Hitchcock may not have wanted him, but Joel Mac Crea's "everyman" performance as "Huntley Haverstock" is the most purely likeable and accessible protagonist Hitchcock has ever had. And, that works perfectly for the movies which gets plenty of the dark and mysterious and perverted from the magnificent supporting cast (including Marshall, Gwenn, Sanders, and many others...). But McCrea's feckless honesty and stubborn determination (rather than the more usual-for-Hitchcock obsession) work refreshingly in contrast with the others.

All the other typical master touches, impeccable camera work, a great score, intricate interwoven plotlines, and many dualities are all on hand for a truly great and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Watch this film!


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