Foreign Correspondent is essentially a propaganda made for WWII and that comes across from the outset, however this does not particularly distract from the quality of the film.

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

In a typical Hitchcock plot the story follows a reporter Huntley Haverstock (Joel McCrea) who is sent to Europe as a Foreign Correspondent to investigate World War II by interviewing several people. Once in Europe one of the people he is investigating gets murdered and Haverstock sets out to uncover corruption and break the biggest news story of the century. 

THE GOOD

The film has many good moments that stand out as Hitchcock creates brilliant tension in near every scene. The dialogue is generally well written and the performances and perfect. It is difficult however to talk much about the best scenes without giving away spoilers as the plot twists and turns so much.

A chase scene near the start of the film is fantastically shot and well ahead of its time in terms of creating an illusion of speed from the vehicles with the use of point-of-view shots particularly important to its effect.

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There are also several scenes set in high places (a Hitchcockian trademark) with one set on a rooftop particularly gripping.

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Another feature I liked in the film is the lack of subtitles when characters where speaking foreign languages. As Haverstock could not speak the language this allowed us to connect more with him and see the film from his eyes and is something that rarely exists in modern cinema when directors insist of forcing audiences to understand exactly what’s going on.

With the film being set and made with the world on the brink of war; Hitchcock does a great job of building tension and the threat of the oncoming war has a huge presence throughout the film without being overbearing.  

 

THE BAD

The only main flaw with the film is the narrative seems to be all over the place; this is due to it being re-written as it was filmed to keep in touch with events happening at the time. This re-writes mean that often the film twists on his head and makes next to no sense. This is particularly true for the final scene which although enjoyable comes from nowhere.

 

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock makes a cameo at the start reading a newspaper.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The film is very good both as a film and propaganda piece. It is obvious now that Hitchcock has vastly improved as a Director and is fast approaching his best work! 4 Hitchs.

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