Thursday, March 26, 2009
Foreign Correspondent. A
The first scene that I had to rewind and watch again in 'Foreign Correspondent' took place near the beginning of the movie. It was simply the camera high up in the sky scanning over a rainy look at European life in the '40s. Many are riding bicycles, there are a few cars, and even a horse drawn carriage moving down the street. There were black umbrellas everywhere. The rain was pounding against the ground incessantly and the sky was dark and dreary. In black and white the scene looked gorgeous. No, it looked glorious. That simple scene was so powerful and so beautiful, and yet so simple and absolutely irrelevant to the plot. It is one of the reasons why Alfred Hitchcock is such an amazing director. He makes every single scene memorable. The plot is a bit deep, so I'll just give you a brief idea of what this film is about: a young American reporter travels to pre WWII Europe to find out information about a potential war. He is then suddenly tossed into a whirlpool of crime and deceit that includes the kidnapping of an important diplomat named Van Meer. The suspense suddenly begins to build when the young reporter starts to suspect that the man he came to interview, Fisher (he's also romantically linked to Fisher's daughter) might be behind the kidnapping. There are several extremely memorable moments in the film. There is the scene I previously mentioned, as well as exhilarating moments involving a windmill and a plane shot down by the Germans. Hitchcock's classics like 'Vertigo,' 'Psycho' and 'Rear Window' are talked about so much that some of his other brilliant pieces of work such as 'Saboteur' and 'Correspondent' are often overlooked. This is the epitome of a thriller. It is filled with thundering suspense and scenes so well crafted that they can draw comparison to some of the more popular Hitchcock moments. There are no major stars in this movie, but the acting is very solid, including George Sanders as Scott Ffolliott. I made note of some of the great moments in this movie, but the greatest of all was the final scene, in which our hero addresses America while bombs are shattering Europe. There is a lot to say about the scene, but the only thing that I was thinking was that I was proud to be an American.