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Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent features a winning combination of international intrigue, comic relief, and some of the legendary director's most memorable set pieces.
All Critics (35)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (33)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (3)
This film contains one of Hitchcock's most famous set pieces -- an assassination in the rain -- but otherwise remains a second-rate effort, as immensely enjoyable as it is.
Story is essentially the old cops-and-robbers. But it has been set in a background of international political intrigue of the largest order.
Into it Director Alfred Hitchcock, whose unmistakable stamp the picture bears, has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion and illusion of momentous consequence as the liveliest imagination could conceive.
Hitchcock's espionage thriller is a thoroughly enjoyable affair, complete with some of his most memorable set pieces.
...registers most strongly as a piece of anti-isolationist propaganda.
Creative Hitchcock thriller mixes fun, spectacular set pieces and political depth.
While Albert Bassermann earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for a somewhat hammy turn, the best performance comes from George Sanders, atypically cast as a fearless and resourceful hero rather than the cads and scoundrels he generally played.
It's such an entertaining film that it's almost possible to forget its didactic agenda, which is certainly part of the point.
It doesn't always proceed as smoothly as some of Hitchcock's best films, but it is never anything less than grandly entertaining.
A fitfully crackerjack picture with astonishing mise-en-scène...some memorable set pieces to take advantage of same, and flashes of Hitchockian wit... [Criterion Blu-ray/DVD]
A showcase of early Hitchcock suspense.
Due to the rapidly changing political context, more writers worked on the script than on any Hitchcock thriller, but end result is satisfying (if not credible), and even Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels acknowledged the movie was a masterpiece.
Amusing enough, with a great cinematography and memorable set pieces, this is a passable film even with those irritating flaws that have become now the worst types of clichés, like a forced romance and how no one believes the main character and thinks he is crazy for no reason.
It's fascinating watching war time dramas made during that particular war time, especially when it's from the 40s.
Hitchcock once again delivers with this thrilling war story about an American journalist on assignment in Europe who stumbles upon a scoop that could really be THE story that cements his career. That particular scoop happens to be a group of spies humorously fronting as a pacifist organization.
I think the structure and pacing could have been reworked, as a pivotal assassination scene happens fairly early, when I felt it should have happened at the midpoint. And, for a two hour film, it does feel a little long and disjointed. However, the film is still engaging enough that this is not a major flaw, and more of a personal nitpick.
The two leads aren't the most compelling, for a Hitch film or otherwise, but they could probably be worse, and seem to be at least trying their best. Where the film really shines is in the other stuff, like the typically strong direction, the wonderful cinematography, and some impressive setpieces like the aforementioned assassination scene set amongst a sea of umbrellas, the super taut creeping around the windmill scene, and the awesome plane sequence.
It's all some great stuff, you know, typical Hitch, but it's worth seeing. Really solid, pretty fun, and something you should check out, despite the flaws.
If it wasn't for the corny propaganda... But anyway a great little thiller with some impressive set pieces. Hitchcock didn't need an overly constructed plot to make it work, injecting his finesse and humour at every step. Current action/adventure filmmakers should take note of this fine example of escapist cinema.
Alfred Hitchcock's tale of foreign intrigue and reversible windmills centers around John Jones (Joel McCrea), a maverick crime reporter whose editor feels he would be perfect to cover the burgeoning rumours of war echoing around Europe (for, he reasons, what is happening in Europe if not a crime?). Jones fits the image of the loud-mouthed American to a tee, sticking his foot into it at every wrong opportunity, but, having been a crime reporter, he knows a frame up when he sees one. Arriving in Europe, he first attends a luncheon for the Dutch diplomat Van Meer (Albert Bassermann), who is to give a speech for the Universal Peace Party (which is headed by a man named Fisher and his daughter, Carol). Later, when Van Meer is very publicly shot, Jones and the daughter team up with fellow reporter ffoliott (George Sanders) to chase down the assassin.
There are some very suspenseful set pieces in the film, one of which takes place in a windmill, and another onboard a transcontinental flight. Both could be considered Hitchcock's 'signature' on the film, they are unmistakeably 'Hitchcockian'. However, it's the performances in the film, with McCrea's brashness and Sanders' suaveness, and even the scene-stealing performance of Edmund Gwenn (Kris Kringle from "Miracle on 34th Street") as a dangerous hitman, that make this film really great. All the espionage is wrapped up with a rousing call to defend the last bastion of liberty as the world pulls inexorably towards self-destruction. Every element of this film is masterfully done, and it is so much more than just a suspense film, the only way it could've lost the academy award in 1941 was to another Hitchcock film released the same year (that being "Rebecca"). If I had one complaint, it's that Alfred Newman's film score doesn't always jibe with what's taking place onscreen. It's a small complaint for a great film.
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