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Foreign Correspondent


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Mr. Osborn said in his info prior to showing Foreign Correspondent, that the word "Nazi" was never used. I beg to differ...Joel is in the taxi with Albert Bassermann, and he's asking Bassermann what he intends to do "in case the Nazi's".....

 

Has anyone else out there caught that.

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Foreign Correspondent:

 

I think that Rorert is losing it. Watched the movie and I think that the word "Nazi" is used when they are in the cab heading to the conference.

If that is not the word - can you tell me what the word was. I think that Robert needs to rewatch the movie and tell us why or how he missed it.

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As has often been pointed out here on the boards, Robert Osborne is certainly knowledgeable about many of these films but he is reading from a prepared script, and others are researching these points. If there is a misstatement , other people aren't being accurate.

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Possible mistakes on Mr. O's part aside, *Foreign Correspondent* is great fun.

One of my favourite JOEL McCREA pictures, this little gem from Hitch keeps you entertained every second.

A couple of tour de forces : The murder at the top of the embassy steps, in the rain, with a thousand umbrellas inadvertently providing cover for the assassin.

The windmill scene in Holland, with Joel hiding right in the inner works of the blades - how about when his jacket gets caught? Very suspenseful and very inventive.

The "torture" of Van Meer by the bad guys; they play swing music (not particularly good swing, either) at full blast. "You veel tell us zee secrets NOW !" Always makes me laugh (I know, it's not intentional, but it is kind of funny...)

And of course, silky smooth George Sanders, so self-possessed, we're not entirely sure for much of the film which side he's really on.

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And there is the car chase scene, after the assassination ,and before the windmills. Man in the village standing there watching the cars go whizzing by. Blake Edwards used that bit in *The Pink Panther* , the great car chase scene with Inspector Clouseau (in his suit of armor) after the 2 gorillas (the Phantom and his nephew).

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George Sanders is at the top of his game in this film, coming right on the heels of his "cad" performance in Hitchcock's *Rebecca* . And in *Foreign Correspondent* , I think Hitch was actually playing for some humor with Edmund Gwenn's assassin, he's almost comically inept in his attempts to murder our hero (that guy McCrea) and the hero seems so naive about what's going on. Come to think of it, someone (like a Mel Brooks) should have done a spoof of this whole film. Blake Edwards may have been thinking of some of these scenes when he did *A Shot In The Dark* and assassins were after Clouseau.

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I sure hope Hitchcock was "playing for some humor with Edmund Gwenn's assassin". To me the scenes with Gwenn are camp. One reason for this humor might of been to not put Fisher in too much of a negative light. Fisher orders the killing and of course that act alone should make us really hate the guy. But the romance side of the plot wouldn't work as well if we really hated the father of the gal our foreign correspondent was in love with. That might of happened if Fisher had hired say a young Richard Widmark type to play the assassin.

Marshall has such charm and style that we really can't hate him as much as we should.

George Sanders also has a similar charm and style but as MissWonderly say a level of menace. We see this in the scene where Scott (Sanders) tells Fisher that they have his daughter and they are willing to play the same dirty game Fisher is playing; i.e. kill his daughter. Now we know Scott is bluffing but it still takes someone with a persona like Sanders to make this bluff work. I.e. if that same line was said by Joel McCrea Fisher would of laughed!

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Way back when , a long , long time ago, there was a little thread about Joel McCrea and him getting a SOTM honor. I made a small contribution to that effort and somewhere in my comments about Mr McCrea I mentioned the movie *Foreign Correspondent* being a favorite of mine and Joel McCrea having a lot to do with that. It's common knowledge that Mr Hitchcock, "good evening", wanted Gary Cooper for the role, but Coop said no. So, as seemed to be the pattern back then, if you can't get Coop get McCrea. I think McCrea was excellent in this movie and am disappointed that Hitch didn't call on him for some future part.

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>Has anyone else out there caught that.

 

With an average of more than 4,000 movies shown on TCM each year, I don't pay any attention to any small minor mistakes in some of the introductions. I don't care. I wish I could talk 4,000 times a year without making a single mistake. :)

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*FredCDobbs said:*

*With an average of more than 4,000 movies shown on TCM each year, I don't pay any attention to any small minor mistakes in some of the introductions. I don't care. I wish I could talk 4,000 times a year without making a single mistake.*

 

Well, forgive me for saying so, but you made a mistake right there. Only about a third of the movies aired get an intro M-F, and on weekends, about a third don't get an intro.

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That's what we called the "contamination factor" when I was writing sales materials and grandiose presentations for trade shows, all using quantitative and qualitative audience data. Much of the time, someone else, usually my supervisor, would be giving the presentation - my job was to make him and the company look as good as possible.

 

What it comes down to is that if I or my boss offer up a bunch of stats and someone can prove one of them to be erroneous, then they have the right to doubt any of the claims. An occupational hazard perhaps, but it remains with me whenever I read a book on film history or watch a documentary on film.

 

I would say the parallel would be when you watch something, based on your own experience, what you see as flaws in cinematography annoy you.

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Yes, I ran into the same situation in the news business. One little mistake and millions of people see it or hear it, and then they don't trust anything you say.

 

But I'm not so strict about movie intros, because I have seen so many movies by now, I often make mistakes about which is which and what is what and who is in what and who says what. I think it is impossible for all the TCM intros to be perfect. They would need a staff of a dozen people just to double-check everything said in the intros so that some guy sitting at home in his underwear in Bute, Montana or Waco, Texas, or Wiggings, Mississippi doesn't notice one mistake in one word and start a thread about it.

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Fred, I think you mean "Butte", Montana :D Sorry I couldn't resist. But your point is well taken. And I never heard of Wiggins, Miss. I thought maybe you made that one up, but its for real.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Sep 12, 2013 12:21 AM

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