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Foreign Correspondent [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1940]

  • SKU: 25578762
  • Release Date: 10/07/2014
  • Rating: NR

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    Foreign Correspondent [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1940]
    Foreign Correspondent [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1940]
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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)


    Foreign Correspondent
    Fourteen scriptwriters spent five years toiling over a movie adaptation of war correspondent Vincent Sheehan's Personal History before producer Walter Wanger brought the property to the screen as Foreign Correspondent. What emerged was approximately 2 parts Sheehan and 8 parts director Alfred Hitchcock--and what's wrong with that? Joel McCrea stars as an American journalist sent by his newspaper to cover the volatile war scene in Europe in the years 1938 to 1940. He has barely arrived in Holland before he witnesses the assassination of Dutch diplomat Albert Basserman: at least, that's what he thinks he sees. McCrea makes the acquaintance of peace-activist Herbert Marshall, his like-minded daughter Laraine Day, and cheeky British secret agent George Sanders. A wild chase through the streets of Amsterdam, with McCrea dodging bullets, leads to the classic "alternating windmills" scene, which tips Our Hero to the existence of a formidable subversive organization. McCrea returns to England, where he nearly falls victim to the machinations of jovial hired-killer Edmund Gwenn. The leader of the spy ring is revealed during the climactic plane-crash sequence--which, like the aforementioned windmill scene, is a cinematic tour de force for director Hitchcock and cinematographer Rudolph Mate. Producer Wanger kept abreast of breaking news events all through the filming of Foreign Correspondent, enabling him to keep the picture as "hot" as possible: the final scene, with McCrea broadcasting to a "sleeping" America from London while Nazi bombs drop all around him, was filmed only a short time after the actual London blitz. The script was co-written by Robert Benchley, who has a wonderful supporting role as an eternally tippling newsman. Foreign Correspondent was Alfred Hitchcock's second American film, and remained one of his (and his fans') personal favorites. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Joel McCrea
      Joel McCrea - Johnny Jones
    • Laraine Day
      Laraine Day - Carol Fisher
    • Herbert Marshall
      Herbert Marshall - Stephen Fisher
    • George Sanders
      George Sanders - Scott Folliott
    • Image coming soon
      Albert Basserman - Van Meer

    Customer rating

    Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 4 reviews

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    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Hitchcock film receives deluxe edition


      Hitchcock always stated that "Rebecca" wasn't a Hitchcock picture because it lacked humor and was too gothic. Hitch felt "Rebecca" was a Selznick-Hitchcock picture. Hitchcock often would point to "Foreign Correspondent" as the first TRUE Hitchcock picture made in America. It certainly has his characteristic sense of humor in abundance courtesy of Robert Benchley who appears in the film AND co-wrote the dialog for the film. Hitch didn't get any of his first choices for the film--Gary Cooper, Joan Fontaine or Barbara Stanwyk--but Joel McCrea does a terrific job as Johnny Jones with able support from George Saunders. SPOILERS: Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea) works the police beat for his newspaper but finds himself suddenly promoted to overseas correspondent when his publisher is frustrated with THEIR foreign correspondent (Robert Benchley). Jones gets a new name and a new beat--to uncover the risk of war in Europe. In the process Jones butts heads and falls for the daugher of a prominent member of a peace moment and discovers a conspiracy involving the murder of a diplomat. SPOILERS: Criterion does an exceptional job for the blu-ray/DVD release of this classic Hitchcock title. The Blu-ray looks very nice with a 2K transfer from the original 35mm negative. The film is presented as a vintage film of this type should be--it's in the orignal aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The mono audio sounds very nice with dialog crystal clear and subtitles in English. As with all Criterion releases, we get some very nice special features for this set. Critic Mark Harris dominates "The Hollywood Propaganda and World War II" an exceptionally good (if a bit dry) featurette. "Dick Cavett Interviews Hitchcock" is a little bit over an hour. Cavett interviewed Hitch when he was doing the promotional rounds for "Frenzy" and the Master touches on a number of his films. We also get a radio broadcast version of the film that was presented in 1946 with Joseph Cotten. Aside from the trailer, a Life magazine piece you can scroll through and an excellent booklet, we also get DVDs of the film and special features as part of the combo package that Criterion now offers. My only complaint--and it is a minor one--is that this is presented in a cardboard holder and sleever. While it has nice artwork on it, it won't stand up to wear and tear. Criterion also did this for "Night of the Hunter" and I really, really dislike them.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      One of Hitchcock's classic films. A must for any Hitchcock collectors. Great film. Good quality On DVD. I, personally, don't see the need for the older films on Blu-ray.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Early Hitch classic

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I've seen all his movies to date except this one. Somehow it escaped me in the past. This criterion edition is the best was to view it. Fabulous!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great Hitchcock movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      The quality is awesome,great movie,the only thing I didn't care for is how it was packaged in a cardboard case.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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