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Foreign Correspondant


Janet0312
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I think that Foreign Correspondent is one of the great Hitchcock films.

 

While others hail Psycho (probably his most famous film today), give me FC any day over it for sheer entertainment. The assassination on the steps in the rain, the fall from Westminster Cathedral, the windmill scene, the airplane crash, so many great moments of Hitchcock suspense.

 

Plus two likeable leads in Joel McCrea and Lorraine Day, and that great cast of supporting players, highlighted for me by Edmund Gwenn and Herbert Marshall.

 

Gary Cooper turned down the lead role as the innocent abroad reporter and later said that it was a mistake on his part. I think Coop would have been great in this film, too, but that takes nothing away from McCrea's fine contribution.

 

And, of course, unlike Rebecca, made the same year, which plays more like Daphne Du Maurier than Hitchcock, FC is pure Hitch.

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There's a lot going on in this film, but my one guilty pleasure is Edmund Gwenn"s character. The perfect tourist host about to shove our leading man off the cathedral tower. Love it.

That's a great touch and one of the best examples of Hitchcock fooling us -- using a character actor whose very presence automatically signifies benevolence as a dangerous villain. Just as in his plots, upstanding and decent seeming characters, often pillars of society, turn out to be evil.

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That's a great touch and one of the best examples of Hitchcock fooling us -- using a character actor whose very presence automatically signifies benevolence as a dangerous villain. Just as in his plots, upstanding and decent seeming characters, often pillars of society, turn out to be evil.

 

I never felt Hitchcock was fooling us by casting Gwenn in the role of a henchman \ killer.    Instead that casting makes the outcome known as soon as we see Gwenn in this role;   i.e. we know that the McCrea character is in no real danger.     So instead of the tension of a possible killing,   we are waiting for the Gwenn character to bungle the job, which he does in great style!

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