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Foreign Correspondent [Import]

Joel McCrea , Laraine Day , Alfred Hitchcock    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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For inexplicable reasons, Foreign Correspondent never achieved the fame of The 39 Steps or North by Northwest, but it is certainly good enough to join the ranks of these better-known Hitchcock thrillers. Set just before the beginning of World War II, the film focuses on murder, international intrigue, and an innocent Joel McCrea caught between spies and counterspies. Highlights include an assassination on a rainy day with the killer escaping into a sea of umbrellas, a group of spies who signal their Dutch contacts by turning windmills against the wind, and an extraordinary climax aboard a plane that crashes into the ocean. In McCrea's final speech, you can hear the British filmmaker uniting American patriotism with the anti-Nazi cause. --Raphael Shargel

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock at the top of his game Jan. 9 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Despite being nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, Alfred Hitchcock's second American film, "Foreign Correspondent," has received little notice through the years. Critics gush, and rightly so, over "Rear Window" and "Vertigo" but scarcely breathe a word about this masterpiece. Released in 1940, the same year as "Rebecca," it has been left to languish in the graveyard of late night television where its very lack of promotion no doubt leads many a Hitchcock fan to believe it must be one of the master's lesser films, something on the order of "The Paradine Case" or "Under Capricorn."
"Foreign Correspondent" is, in fact, one of the director's greatest films, every bit as good as "The 39 Steps," "North by Northwest" and other famous Hitchcock classics and far superior to "Rebecca," a film that Hitchcock himself described as belonging more to Selznick than to him. The Master of Suspense's trademark touches are very evident in this exciting suspense adventure in which Joel McCrea (chosen after Gary Cooper passed on the project), a lightweight reporter for a New York newspaper, is given a plum assignment that leads him into international intrigue involving a kidnapped scientist.
Hitchcock may have been disappointed in McCrea (labelling him "too easygoing") but the often underrated actor is excellent and is aided by one of Hitchcock's most perfect casts. As fellow reporters, George Sanders provides plenty of world-weary wit and the great Robert Benchley, who also wrote some of his own dialogue, adds a light touch in what is otherwise a fairly grim thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Of Hitchcock's Best Dec 23 2003
Format:VHS Tape
"Foreign Correspondent" was Alfred Hitchcock's second American feature made in 1940, the same year as his first feature "Rebecca", and surprisingly both were up for "best picture". In fact "Foreign Correspodent" was nominated for 6 Oscars. But even so, the movie is rarely regarded as one of Hitchcock's best, and that's a shame. "Foreign Correspondent" ranks up there with the best Hitchcock films such as "Rear Window", "Psycho", and "Vertigo". The "master of suspense" displays all the talents that have made him one of the finest film-makers of all-time (at least in my opinion).
"Foreign Correspondent" has Joel McCrea as John Jones, an American reporter sent over to Europe to cover the beginnings of WW2. And, as you can probably guess, Jones will stumble upon a big story and soon become a man who knows too much.
Van Meer, a man Jones was sent to interview (Albert Basserman, in an Oscar nominated performance) is on a council to prevent WW2, but he is soon murdered, or is he? He was the only person who knew of a secret clause that was to be written in a peace treaty.
A lot of people speak highly of the assination scene with the umbrellas, and Edmund Gwenn's scene on top of the tower. Most of you will know Gwenn as Santa Clause in "Miracle on 34th Street". But I have to admit some of my favorite scenes deal with the more comedic aspects of the film such as Robert Benchley's scenes, as an on-the-wagon reporter just yearning for one more drink, who has no idea what is going on around him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Propaganda Film April 14 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Released in 1940 by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, this movie (although somewhat fictitiously) explains the beginning of World War II. This is one of Hitchcock's spy thrillers, complete with his man-in-the-middle and MacGuffin storylines.
Huntley Haverstock (Joel McCrea) is a newspaper reporter from New York who is sent to Europe to meet with the Dutch Professor Van Meer, who holds a secret clause in a peace treaty that may avert the coming war. After witnessing Van Meer's death, Haverstock becomes embroiled in an elaborate scenario in which the Nazis play a pivotal role.
In Haverstock's adventure, he meets up with the lovely Carol Fisher (Laraine Day)and her father, Stephen Fisher (Herbert Marshall). Are the Fishers really who they say they are?
The movie has many plot twists and exciting sequences that have become so memorable in Hitchcock lore.
The scene with the windmill's blades rotating backward has become classic, as well as the bobbing umbrellas in the rain as the murderer of Van Meer escapes through them. And also watch for the spectacular plane crash at the end of the film.
And who can forget seeing Edmund Gwenn, the man known forever to film buffs as Santa Claus from Miracle on 34th Street, playing here the sinister hit man, Rowley.
Clearly a great storyline, Foreign Correspondent is a must-see for any Hitchcock fan. This was his second film he made in America after David Selznick brought him over from England, and probably the best piece of propaganda to get the American public more interested in war looming on the horizon.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
'Foreign Correspondent' is yet another fantasic mystery from Alfred Hitchcock. Although I don't remember the storyline too much, I remember liking it enough to give it a four-star... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by Dhaval Vyas
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hitchcock classic!
This movie is great. It deserves five stars. This movie is a wonderful drama and chase movie. Only the Master of Suspense could only direct such a great film. See it!
Published on Dec 10 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars great plane crash
This is a great film from Hitchcock's Great Patriotic War period.
And it has one of the finest aviation sequences on film. Read more
Published on March 31 2002 by simpcity
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic
This movie is one of my favorite Hitchcocks. The plot is perfect for Hitchcock's type of story. Joel McCrea plays a newspaper reporter who finds a German group of people trying to... Read more
Published on March 15 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Simply Great!
When the average person thinks of Hitchcock, they usually think of The Birds, Psycho....that sort of thing. That's perfectly understandable. Those are terrific films. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2001 by Rodney Bowcock Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars The eve of war
What a terrific film! A near-perfect mixture of suspense, action and romance, with a great cast and dialogue. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2000 by David Bonesteel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun in the Grand Hitchcock Tradition
This fast-paced espionage thriller is filled with many memorable Hitchcock images and performances. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by Stephen Reginald
5.0 out of 5 stars SUSPENSE AND INTRIGUE
Fourteen script writers held a race with the swift courseof contemporary history to produce the Walter Wanger thriller. Read more
Published on May 16 2000 by "scotsladdie"
2.0 out of 5 stars Redemptive Hitchcock
This is hardly Hitch's best but it does feature some redemptive set pieces. The best is a plane crash towards the end which is simply amazing for it's time. Read more
Published on April 22 2000 by Peter Shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller!
Foreign Correspondent is a great Alfred Hitchcock thriller! It was very suspenseful up until the very end of the movie. The performances were great in this movie. Read more
Published on March 18 2000
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