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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on November 23, 2015
Hitchcock suspense!
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on September 21, 2015
Hitchcock pulls some cinematic punches with his second film directed in the States. The scene inside the windmill as McRea shifts up the stairs to stay out of the enemy's sight, brilliant. There's wit and suspense that will be echoed in Saboteur and other films. McRae isn't as suave as Grant or neurotic as Stewart. These leading men are still in the wings. He's just one of those gosh, darn, shucks American boys and so a bit of a fish out of water: not as suave as Robert Donat in 39 Steps (a Brit in a Brit environment, but with the same gun-ho spirit: see the speech he gives when facing the political party assembly) or the natural assurance of Robert Cummings in Saboteur (a Yank in a Yank environment, so his sparing with the female lead does not look so disparate). Thank God for George Sanders and his unctuous deliveries to keep the film from getting to cloying. Clever twists abound but it still feels a bit "clunky," like a Broadway show in pre-opening trials out of town: Hitchcock will use many of the devices further on now that he's worked out the kinks. And, yes, I know the ending was tacked on to ramp up American support of the European cause but it just makes me gag with the anthem and eagle at the end. Even at the time, I wonder if it didn't make some in the theatre roll their eyes.
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on September 12, 2015
As always, Criterion has done a beautiful job!
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on December 31, 2014
This is one of Hitchcocks early finest. Released the same year has his film Rebecca. Both were nominated for the Academy Award for best pitcher, Rebecca won.
The Criterion Bluray has fully restored film & sound. Lots of special features.
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on November 12, 2014
Good Suspence thriller from Alfred Hitchcock. Recommend Highly.
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on October 25, 2014
Excellent copy of this movie and loved the time period
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on August 19, 2014
seen this movie a long long time ago,much better this time,for me I enjoy it a lot--Thank you
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on April 26, 2004
'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 review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2004
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. Herbert Marshall is on hand as the elegant villain, and Edmund Gwenn who would define "warm and cuddly" as Santa Claus in "Miracle on 34th Street" a few years later, exudes evil as an assassin.
There are many standout scenes, all every bit as imaginative as the cropduster attack on Cary Grant in "North by Northwest" or the shower murder in "Psycho." Note the ominous mood in the windmill where the kidnapped scientist is held captive, or the plane's plunge into the ocean just before the finale. The moment when the aged scientist (perfectly embodied by Albert Basserman, an Oscar nominee for his role) is tortured in a hotel room while a helpless Sanders looks on can make you squirm more than anything in "The Birds."
In short, this is Hitchcock at the very top of his game. The only thing "Foreign Correspondent" lacks is the acclaim and notoriety it deserves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2003
"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. I also enjoy a scene dealing with George Sanders (Scott ffolliott) as he explains why he his name is spelled with two lower case "f's", McCrea responds with "How do you pronouce it? With a stutter?"
I've always felt Hitchcock's early work sometimes allowed the dry wit to get into the way of his movies. They could be seen as comedy\mystery movies in the vain of "The Thin Man" series. But in "Foreign Correspondent" I absolutely didn't mind. I enjoyed it greatly. Benchley was actually allowed to write his own lines and Ben Hechet, who helped co-write (he wrote the play "The Front Page", as well as two other Hitchcock movies, "Notorious" and "Spellbound") are without doubt why this movie actually does make us laugh. Benchley really is a highlight for me. Please pay attention to his dialogue. It's a shame so many people don't remember him nowadays.
And, there's more more thing I feel the need to comment on. What an amazing cast this film has. I've mentioned some of them already, McCrea, Sanders, and Benchley, but Herbert Marshall is also in this movie as Stephen Fisher, Van Meer's partner. Everyone does a wonderful job.
Bottom-line: Sadly not as popular as some of Hitchcock's other films, but, it deserves to be. It really is one of his best works. Great moments of suspense and wit.
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