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Foreign Correspondent [1940 film] (1940)

by Alfred Hitchcock (Director), Charles Bennett (Screenwriter)

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705282,786 (3.25)1
A reporter sent to Europe to cover a peace conference falls in love with a diplomat's daughter, but discovers that her father is the head of a Nazi spy ring.



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Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Joel McCrea – John Jones
Herbert Marshall – Stephen Fisher
George Sanders – Scott ffolliott
Laraine Day – Carol Fisher
Albert Bassermann – Van Meer
Robert Benchley – Stebbins
Edmund Gwen – Rowley
Eduardo Ciannelli – Mr. Krug

Screenplay by Charles Bennett and Joan Harrison
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Black and white. 120 min.


This is one of those early Hitchcock movies that are thoroughly – un-Hitchcock. I don’t mind the enormously implausible plot. I expect that. But I do mind enormously boring characters and dialogue. The obligatory romance is especially atrocious: “If you knew how much I love you, you’d faint” – what the...?! The rest is some sort of spy thriller set on the eve of WWII. But it’s slow, tedious and good half an hour too long. Fine cast and lavish production make the movie watchable, but even they cannot make it worth watching more than once. It’s a rare pleasure to see Herbert Marshall and George Sanders together. This is the first of only three movies they did together, the other two being the underrated The Moon and Sixpence (1942) and the totally obscure Black Jack (1950). Sadly, Marshall is given little to do here and Sanders is given nothing at all. They do have one scene together, and it happens to be one of only two scenes worth seeing here. The other one is the atmospheric hide-and-seek in the windmill where, for once, you can tell Hitchcock might have had something to do with that movie. Joel McCrea is supposed to be the lead, but he is saddled with such an idiotic excuse for a character that nobody, not even far greater actors than him, can save it. He has the honour to deliver the final speech bursting with blatant propaganda. This is too crude even for those days when war propaganda was common on the screen. All in all, this movie was a complete waste of time. I saw it because of Hitchcock, Marshall and Sanders. All three are completely wasted here. ( )
  Waldstein | May 1, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitchcock, AlfredDirectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennett, CharlesScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bassermann, AlbertActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Day, Larainesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marshall, Herbertsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCrea, Joelsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanders, Georgesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wanger, Waltersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A reporter sent to Europe to cover a peace conference falls in love with a diplomat's daughter, but discovers that her father is the head of a Nazi spy ring.

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