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on 21 June 2017
An early Hitchcock thriller made in 1940. It is set in 1939 in Europe. A US reporter is sent to Europe to by his newspaper to get a new angle on what is happening "over there". He is very naïve about what is going on in Europe and soon becomes romantically involved with Carol whose father heads an important Peace Organisation. In Holland he witnesses the assassination of a Dutch Diplomat and whilst on the trail of the killer becomes embroiled in the workings of an International Spy Ring. For such an early film it shows clearly the elements of uncertainty that pervaded the International Scene in the lead up to WW2 and how unprepared Britain was for forthcoming events. Hitchcock shows signs of his future greatness in a tight script, some superb cinematography and though the storyline is quite weak he produces a very pacey thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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on 15 June 2017
This is one of my Hitchcock favourites. Like they say, they don't make 'm like that anymore.
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on 16 May 2017
Great Film
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on 19 June 2013
Look forward to watching this film again. Very good service. Love Alfred Hitchcock. I shall be purchasing more in the future.
Thank you.
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on 11 May 2011
I bought this film not only because I lenjoy this film era but to study the fashions etc for an exam I was taking. I enjoyed the film very much and it was very good for my study too
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2003
This is the master at his most characteristic, if not quite on his best form. A hugely enjoyable propaganda romp with first rate performances all round (take note of Robert Benchley and Edmund Gwenn in minor roles). The film is a model of economy and for those looking for Hitchcock's visual 'touches' we have the assasin fleeing through a crowd of umbrellas, to quote only the most memorable (and in the opening credits, the world becomes an American newspaper building). The plot is poppycock of course, but so what.
The feel, I think is closer to the earlier British films than some of his other Hollywood movies, perhaps because it was propaganda. The rousing speech at the end has obviously lost something over the years but it was there to do a job. Lovely.
The film looks good on DVD, but why no extras?
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on 17 August 2014
Ignorant American reporter Joel McCrea (John Jones) is given the pseudonym Huntley Haverstock and sent on a mission to Amsterdam to get a story about politician Albert Bassermann (Van Meer) and obtain some news about the impending war in Europe. Well, he certainly gets involved. Can he live to tell what he knows?

The film is a little too long, and the first half an hour is pretty boring. We then get some tense scenes, starting with a shooting. At last, some suspense. Unfortunately, the realism of the film is sloppy at this point. For example the victim's killer would have been caught about 20 times over. Also, the killer's getaway car would not just have disappeared like that on a large empty road, given that the pursuers had the car in sight. Another instance of stupidity occurs at this point in that the bad guys don't seem to be looking out for the car that has been chasing them. These villains are cretinously stupid not to have someone pick up that McCrea is snooping around the windmill. He stands out like a sore thumb.

Another memorable section sees hitman Edmund Gwenn (Rowley) bide his time and attempt his murderous instructions on McCrea. He has a couple of goes. And while these are suspenseful, Gwenn plays for comedy so it's never quite effective. And that's a problem with this film, there is far too much light-heartedness (eg, the Latvian bloke) which takes away any real danger.

George Sanders (ffolliott) turns up after the first boring half an hour that wasn't necessary and immediately becomes the best of the cast. In fact, the lead man McCrea completely disappears from the proceedings after about two thirds of the film and we follow Sanders as he unravels and solves the whole mystery. By himself. McCrea wasn't needed - Sanders even already knew about wealthy aristocratic Herbert Marshall (Fisher).

The film does have two other memorable sequences. The first is the sea of umbrellas as the assassin makes his getaway - very creative. The other is what elevates this film to the score I have given it - namely, the whole plane crash episode. I found this particularly eerie given the current explanation of what happened to that Air Malaysia plane recently. The one that just disappeared. There is real footage of the view that the pilots would have had as the plane dives towards the sea. We then get the water pouring in and a frightening aftermath. Maybe the passengers were already dead come the impact in the real life situation. Still, it made me think and go all sombre about it.

Unfortunately, this film lacks something. Oh yeah, Hitchcock is easy to spot in this one, so keep an eye out near the beginning.
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on 26 October 2012
Reading some of the reviews regarding the region 2 release of "Foreign Correspondent" I just want to add a comment or two of my own.

Although the obvious weakness compared to region 1 is that there are no bonus features, which is a shame, I would like to put on record that there is nothing wrong with the sound or picture quality. Nearly ALL dvd releases could be improved upon quality wise - witness (or maybe you shouldn't) the poor presentation of the Network releases of James Whales' 1932 film "The Old Dark House" and Bryan Forbes' 1964 "Seance On A Wet Afternoon." Both of these films suffered, especially lack of decent sound.

I'm not claiming that "Correspondent" to be perfect, but unlike the two films aforestated, I don't have to crank the volume up to obtain reasonable sound. The picture is better and clearer as well.

Great film (again) from Hitchcock, glad to have it in my collection.
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on 28 April 2003
The titles of the new Universal Hitchcock edition are very cheap, and evidently the films are not remastered in any way. Some titles, such as 'Suspicion', suffer terribly, others, like this 'Foreign Correspondent', were transferred from serviceable prints, and are therefore wonderful to watch.
'Correspondent' belongs up there among the Hitchcock greats, one of the most virtuosic of cinematographic orchestrations, just watch the long, infernally exciting sequence when the plane is shot down and dives into the sea - riveting! The scenes in the Dutch windmill are vintage Hitchcock, and Joel McCrea proves to be one of the master's most personable of heroes.
The script is wonderful, and one readily 'forgives' the patriotic schmaltz of the finishing line, when McCrea broadcasts his impressions of wartime Europe, as the blitz of London sets in and all lights go out. "Hang on to your lights", he implores his countrymen. "They are the only lights left in the world". Maybe George W. Bush should be persuaded not to watch so many films!
Anyway, this one is a safe buy.
So do it!
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2007
"Foreign Correspondent" (1940) was Alfred Hitchcock's second American film after the fabulous "Rebecca" (1940) and what film it is. It got everything you need for a thriller: Newspaper reporters; espionage; traitors; car chases; plane crashes; sea rescues, romance; war; assassinations; political conspiracies and bell towers, oh and let's not forget windmills. Not only that but cinematography by none other than Rudolph Mate whom serious cinema buffs know as the cinematographer of films like the sublime "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (Dreyer,1928), "Vampyr" (Dreyer,1930); Dodworth (Wyler,1936); Stella Dallas (Vidor,1937) and "To Be Or Not To Be" (Lubitsch,1942) all of which are regarded as classics. "Foreign Correspondent" also has some fine energetic performances from Joel McCrea (Sullivan's Travels, 1941; The Palm Beach Story,1942) and Laraine Day as well as supporting cast of Herbert Marshall, George Sanders and Albert Basserman. The special effects are just remarkable especially the scene at sea which is just impossible to believe was shot in a MGM studio. "Foreign Correspondent" is a fan favourite and without a doubt a thriller masterpiece even German Propaganda minister Goebbels refered to it as "A masterpiece of propaganda, a first-class production". "Foreign Correspondent" opened at cinemas August 16, 1940 just three weeks before the start of the Blitz which is depicted at the end of the film.

The DVD transfer is of a good standard although the soundtrack could be better. There are no extras.
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