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Foreign Correspondent (Film)

Foreign Correspondent (Film)

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Published by: galegator on Jul 04, 2013
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Foreign Correspondent (film)1
Foreign Correspondent (film)
 Foreign Correspondent
original film poster
Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
Produced by
Walter Wanger
Written by
Vincent Sheean
Charles BennettJoan Harrison
Robert BenchleyJames Hilton
Harold ClurmanBen HechtJohn HowardLawsonJohn Lee MahinRichard MaibaumBudd Schulberg
Joel McCreaLaraine DayHerbert MarshallGeorge SandersAlbert BassermanRobert Benchley
Music by
Alfred Newman
Rudolph Maté
Editing by
Dorothy SpencerOtho Lovering (sup)
Distributed by
United Artists
Release date(s)
August 16, 1940
Running time
120 minutes
United States
Box office
 Foreign Correspondent
is a 1940 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock which tells the story of anAmerican reporter who tries to expose enemy spies in Britain, a series of events involving a continent-wideconspiracy that eventually leads to the events of a fictionalized World War II. It stars Joel McCrea and featuresLaraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Bassermann and Robert Benchley, along with EdmundGwenn.The film was Hitchcock's second Hollywood production since leaving the United Kingdom in 1939 (the first was
) and had an unusually large number of writers: Robert Benchley, Charles Bennett, Harold Clurman, Joan
Foreign Correspondent (film)2Harrison, Ben Hecht, James Hilton, John Howard Lawson, John Lee Mahin, Richard Maibaum, and Budd Schulberg,with Bennett, Benchley, Harrison, and Hilton the only writers credited in the finished film. It was based on VincentSheean's political memoir
 Personal History
the rights to which were purchased by producer WalterWanger for $10,000.The film was one of two Hitchcock films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1941, the otherbeing
, which went on to win the award.
 Foreign Correspondent 
was nominated for six Academy Awards,including one for Albert Bassermann for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, but did not win any.
Joel McCrea as "Huntley Haverstock", foreigncorrespondent
The editor of the
 New York Globe
(Harry Davenport) is concernedabout the "crisis" in Europe, the growing power of Adolf Hitlerand Nazi Germany, and the inability of celebrated foreigncorrespondents in getting answers about whether or not war willensue. After searching for a good, tough crime reporter for a freshviewpoint, he appoints Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea) as a foreigncorrespondent, under the pen name "Huntley Haverstock".The reporter's first assignment is Stephen Fisher (HerbertMarshall), leader of the Universal Peace Party, at an event held byFisher in honour of a Dutch diplomat named Van Meer (AlbertBassermann). On the way to the party, Haverstock sees Van Meerentering the car which is to take him to the party, and runs tointerview him; Van Meer invites him to ride along. At the party,Haverstock meets Fisher's daughter, Carol (Laraine Day). Van Meer disappears mysteriously. Later, Fisher informsthe guests that Van Meer, who was supposed to be the guest of honor, will not be attending the party; instead he willbe at a political conference in Amsterdam.At the conference, Van Meer is shot in front of a large crowd by a man disguised as a photographer. Haverstock commandeers a car to follow the assassin's getaway car. The car he jumps into happens to have in it Carol and Scottffolliott (George Sanders), another reporter, who explains that the capital letter in his surname was dropped inmemory of an executed ancestor. The group follows the assassin to a windmill in the countryside.While Carol and ffolliott go for help, Haverstock searches the windmill and finds a live Van Meer
the man whowas killed was an impostor. The old man is drugged and unable to tell him anything. Haverstock is forced to fleewhen the kidnappers become aware of him. By the time the police arrive, the villains have escaped with Van Meer inan airplane.Later, back at Haverstock's hotel room, two spies dressed as policemen arrive to kidnap him. When he suspects whothey really are, he escapes out the window and into Carol Fisher's room.Haverstock and Carol board a British boat to England, and while a furious storm thunders overhead, he proposes toher. In England, the two go to Carol's father's house, where Haverstock sees a man whom he recognizes as one of themen at the windmill. He informs Fisher, but Fisher ignores him, saying that he will send a bodyguard to protect him.However, the bodyguard Rowley (Edmund Gwenn) repeatedly tries to kill Haverstock instead. When the assassintries to push him off the top of the Westminster Cathedral tower, Haverstock steps aside just in time and Rowleyplunges to his death instead.
Foreign Correspondent (film)3
George Sanders as "Scott ffolliott" [
Haverstock and ffolliott are convinced that Fisher is a traitor, sothe two come up with a plan, with Haverstock taking Carol to thecountryside, while ffolliott pretends she has been kidnapped toforce Fisher to divulge Van Meer's location. However, Haverstock and Carol argue, and she returns to London. Just as Fisher is aboutto fall for ffolliott's bluff, he hears her car pull up.Ffolliott follows Fisher to a hotel where Van Meer is being held.Just as Van Meer is being forced to divulge the information theorganization wants, ffolliott distracts the interrogators. WhenHaverstock arrives, Fisher and his bodyguards escape, leaving VanMeer behind. Van Meer is rushed to the hospital in a coma.In the meantime, England and France have declared war on Germany. Then, while the group are on a Short Empireplane to America, Fisher confesses his deeds to his daughter. Despite this, Carol blames Haverstock for not reallyloving her and only wanting to pursue her father. He protests that he was just doing his job as a reporter. Secondslater, the plane is shelled by a German destroyer and crashes into the ocean. The survivors perch on the floating wingof the downed plane. Realizing that it cannot support everyone, including his daughter, Fisher sacrifices himself byallowing himself to drown. Jones and ffolliott attempt to save him, but are unsuccessful. Shortly after, they arepicked up by an American ship, the
, from which, over the phone and over the objections of the captain whois concerned to maintain American neutrality, they relate their whole story. Later, back in London, Jones and Caroldo a radio broadcast to the US, while London is being bombed, warning them about what Germany is doing.
Joel McCrea as Johnny Jones / Huntley Haverstock Laraine Day as Carol FisherHerbert Marshall as Stephen FisherGeorge Sanders as Scott ffolliottAlbert Bassermann as Van MeerRobert Benchley as StebbinsEdmund Gwenn as RowleyEduardo Ciannelli as Mr. KrugHarry Davenport as Mr. PowersMartin Kosleck as TrampFrances Carson as Mrs. ApplebyIan Wolfe as StilesCharles Wagenheim as AssassinEddie Conrad as LatvianCharles Halton as BradleyBarbara Pepper as DorineEmory Parnell as Captain John Martin of "The Mohican"Roy Gordon as Mr. BroodGertrude W. Hoffmann as Mrs. BensonMarten Lamont as Captain of clipper planeBarry Bernard as Steward on planeHolmes Herbert as Commissioner FollipttLeonard Mudie as McKennaJohn Burton as English announcerGeorge Sanders, Laraine Day and Joel McCrea in pursuitof an assassin
Alfred Hitchcock can be seen when Joel McCrea first spots Van Meer on the street in London; Hitchcock walks pastreading a newspaper. Albert Basserman, who plays Van Meer, was German and couldn't speak English, so he had tolearn all his lines phonetically. Likewise, one "Dutch" girl speaks Dutch phonetically, though not quite asconvincingly.

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