Review: Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Foreign Correspondent


Alfred Hitchcock
Charles Bennett, Joan Harrison, James Hilton, Robert Benchley
120 min.
Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Basserman, Robert Benchley, Edmund Gwenn, Eduardo Cianelli, Harry Davenport, Martin Kosleck, Frances Carson, Ian Wolfe
MPAA Rating

Buy on DVD



Alfred Hitchcock’s second American film isn’t as impressive as his first (Rebecca), but is still an entertaining thriller with fewer twists than expected. The film centers around a young reporter with no international experience sent to Europe to cover the impending war and hopefully bring back a great story. He stumbles into a plot that could give him that report, but he must survive in order to convey it.

Joel McCrea delivers a solid performance as John Jones, given the nom de plume Huntley Haverstock by his overzealous publisher. While in Europe, he meets the affable Dutch peace negotiator Van Meer (played well by Albert Basserman) with the aid of philanthropist Stephen Fisher (Herbert Marshall), his daughter Carol (Laraine Day) and a fellow reporter named ffolliott (George Sanders). Day and Sanders give competent performances, but Sanders seems to have typecast himself as the cynic as perfectly embodied in his better performance in his Oscar-nominated work in All About Eve ten years later.

ReleaseD the same year as his first American adventure, Foreign Correspondent unfairly pales in comparison. However, Hitch still managed to earn a rare two Best Picture nominations for his films. The film isn’t as memorable or exceptional of many of his future and celebrated works, but it’s suspenseful and entertaining enough to reflect favorably on him.
Review Written
August 2, 2010

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