Foreign CorrespondentDirector: Alfred Hitchcock, Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
Fourteen scriptwriters spent five years toiling over a movie adaptation of war correspondent Vincent Sheehan's Personal History before producer Walter Wanger brought the property to the screen as Foreign Correspondent. What emerged was approximately 2 parts Sheehan and 8 parts director Alfred Hitchcock--and what's wrong with that? Joel McCrea stars as an American journalist sent by his newspaper to cover the volatile war scene in Europe in the years 1938 to 1940. He has barely arrived in Holland before he witnesses the assassination of Dutch diplomat Albert Basserman: at least, that's what he thinks he sees. McCrea makes the acquaintance of peace-activist Herbert Marshall, his like-minded daughter Laraine Day, and cheeky British secret agent George Sanders. A wild chase through the streets of Amsterdam, with McCrea dodging bullets, leads to the classic "alternating windmills" scene, which tips Our Hero to the existence of a formidable subversive organization. McCrea returns to England, where he nearly falls victim to the machinations of jovial hired-killer Edmund Gwenn. The leader of the spy ring is revealed during the climactic plane-crash sequence--which, like the aforementioned windmill scene, is a cinematic tour de force for director Hitchcock and cinematographer Rudolph Mate. Producer Wanger kept abreast of breaking news events all through the filming of Foreign Correspondent, enabling him to keep the picture as "hot" as possible: the final scene, with McCrea broadcasting to a "sleeping" America from London while Nazi bombs drop all around him, was filmed only a short time after the actual London blitz. The script was co-written by Robert Benchley, who has a wonderful supporting role as an eternally tippling newsman. Foreign Correspondent was Alfred Hitchcock's second American film, and remained one of his (and his fans') personal favorites.
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Cast & Crew
|Alexander Golitzen||Art Director|
|Edmond F. Bernoudy||Asst. Director|
|Paul Eagler||Special Effects|
|Burnett Guffey||Camera Operator|
|Julia Heron||Set Decoration/Design|
|Frank Maher||Sound/Sound Designer|
|William Cameron Menzies||Set Decoration/Design|
|Alfred Newman||Score Composer|
|Lee Zavitz||Special Effects|
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Excellent movie which moves along crisply from beginning to end. This new issue from Criterion includes BluRay and DVD plus informative and entertaining extras on a separate disc.
Excellent plot, all actors excellent.
Foreign Correspondent is one of the few remaining Hitchcock films that had not been upgraded to blu ray for Region A viewers. Criterion has now done the job and very well indeed. This WWII thinly veiled propaganda film was very high grade compared to others that followed. There are well crafted and very effective action scenes and creative camera work in evidence. The cast which includes Joel McCrea and George Sanders in starring roles were all well chosen and first rate. The script was a cut above the usual stilted Hun bashing typical of films during this era particularly because this film was mostly shot just prior to the US entry into WWII . Hitchcock had to present the enemy in more nuanced terms. In fact, the spies were never referred to as Nazi's but the comparisons were still unmistakable. Criterion did a fine job in the film transfer to blu ray and this film although not one of Hitchcock's very best films it has flashes of brilliance and is a must own film for any Hitchcock fan.
I watched this movie for the very first time. I thought it was excellent. I love the old 40's and 50's Hitchcock movies. They're the best. I just thought this was an exciting and suspenseful movie.