Foreign Correspondent

( 4 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Alfred Hitchcock's second American film, Foreign Correspondent is a typically skillful, well-balanced suspense thriller from the unrivalled master of the genre. Popular upon its release and still considered one of the director's most entertaining works, the picture is undercut somewhat by its lackluster leads, Joel McCrea and Laraine Day. Hitchcock originally wanted Gary Cooper for the lead, but often had trouble attracting Hollywood stars since many considered his films mere pulp entertainment. Regardless, Foreign Correspondent is most memorable for its grand set pieces. All are prime examples of Hitchcockian art: the assassin's escape into a crowd of umbrellas; the plane crash into the ocean (shot indoors on a huge set at MGM); and the famous windmill sequence. The film's blatant call for America to take arms against Nazi Germany was penned by screenwriter Ben Hecht (Scarface, Notorious). Hitchcock's other anti-Nazi movies from the World War II era included Saboteur, Lifeboat, and Notorious; he also made two French-language propaganda films.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2014
  • UPC: 715515129213
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Language: English
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 5,796

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joel McCrea Johnny Jones
Laraine Day Carol Fisher
Herbert Marshall Stephen Fisher
George Sanders Scott Folliott
Albert Basserman Van Meer
Robert Benchley Stebbins
Edmund Gwenn Rowley
Harry Davenport Mr. Powers
Barbara Pepper Doreen
Eddie Conrad Latvian Diplomat
Martin Kosleck Tramp
Sam Adams Impersonator
Louis Borell Capt. Lansom
Louise Brien Secretary
Willy Castello
Wheaton Chambers Committeeman
Ken Christy
Gino Corrado Italian Waiter
Helena Phillips Evans Maid
Herbert Evans English Doorman
James Finlayson Dutch Peasant
Robert C. Fischer Manager
Douglas Gordon Taxi Driver
Otto Hoffman Telegrapher
Paul Irving Dr. Williamson
Terry Kilburn Boy
Ted Offenbecker Copy Boy
Loulette Sablon Nesta
Raymond Severn English Boy
William Stelling
Paul Sutton Male Nurse
Hans Von Morhart Dutch Policeman
George Cathrey Flight Officer
Meeka Aldrich Donald's Wife
Charles Halton Bradley
Ian Wolfe Stiles the Butler
Barry Bernard Steward
Emory Parnell John Martin, Captain of the Mohican
Frances Carson Mrs. Sprague
Charles Wagenheim Assassin
John Burton English Radio Announcer
Roy Gordon Mr. Brood
Marten Lamont Plane Captain
Holmes Herbert Commissioner Ffolliott
Leonard Mudie Inspector McKenna
Bunny Beatty Bit part
Frank Benson Bit part
Henry Blair Bit part
Horace B. Carpenter Bit part
E.E. Clive Mr. Naismith
Harry Depp Uncle Biren
Elspeth Dudgeon Bit part
George B. French Bit part
John George Bit part
Alexander Granach Valet
Colin Kenny Bit part
Crauford Kent Toastmaster
Gwendolen Logan Bit part
Eily Malyon Hotel Cashier
Ted Mapes Double for Joel McCrea
John Meredith Bit part
John T. Murray Bit part
Jane Novak Miss Benson
Hilda Plowright Miss Pimm
Thomas Pogue Bit part
Jack Rice Donald
Harry Semels Bit part
Ernie Stanton Bit part
Donald Stuart Bit part
Ferris Taylor Jones' Father
Dorothy Vaughan Jones's Mother
William Yetter Jr. Bit part
Mary Young Auntie Maude
Eduardo Ciannelli Mr. Krug
Gertrude W. Hoffman Mrs. Benson
Joan Leslie Jones' Sister
George Offerman Bit part
Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Robert Benchley Screenwriter
Charles Bennett Screenwriter
Edmond F. Bernoudy Asst. Director
Paul Eagler Special Effects
Burnett Guffey Camera Operator
Joan Harrison Screenwriter
Julia Heron Set Decoration/Design
James Hilton Screenwriter
Otho Lovering Editor
Frank Maher Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Maibaum Screenwriter
Rudolph Maté Cinematographer
William Cameron Menzies Set Decoration/Design
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Norman Pringle Makeup
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Walter Wanger Producer
Lee Zavitz Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Excellent movie which moves along crisply from beginning to end.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Fantastic -- You won't regret.

    Excellent plot, all actors excellent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2014

    Early Hitchcock Suspense Spy Thriller

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Hitchcock is fabulous!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews