When a green Yank reporter (Joel McCrea) is sent to Europe to get the scoop on the imminent war, he quickly gets pulled down a rabbit hole of espionage, assassination, conspiracy, and quintessential Hitchcockian setpieces.
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Classic Hitchcock espionage thriller that finds an American foreign correspondent drawn into a pursuit of spies, murder, kidnapping and of course romance. Memorable sequences throughout especially the famous umbrella pursuit, the windmill and the plane crash. McCrea takes a bit to warm up to here but solid support throughout. Made on the cusp of the U.K. entry into WWII.
Great style, but basically a dumb Hollywood film, just stylistically better than most other mid-century Hollywood pictures. Ending the film with the Star Spangled Banner makes me want to drop it down to 2 stars, but to be fair, it isn't quite that bad other than the gratuitous patriotism. Hitch was a master of suspense but also a shlockmaster.
Hitchcock's 2nd American movie is a great blend of action, political suspense and comedy. The ever underrated Joel McCrea is a great leading man among a great cast including a fun performance from George Sanders. The windmill, assassination and plane crash scenes are especially well done. A lot here that would make its way to later Hitchcock movies like North By Northwest and Saboteur. The shape of things to come.
If it wasn't for the corny propaganda... But anyway a great little thiller with some impressive set pieces. Hitchcock didn't need an overly constructed plot to make it work, injecting his finesse and humour at every step. Current action/adventure filmmakers should take note of this fine example of escapist cinema.
Patchy, but full of trademark Hitchcock moments. Especially liked the dreamlike suspense in the windmill, the jaw-dropping plane crash, and the odd deflation ("that cuts down our love scene quite a bit, doesn't it?").
As far as Hitchcock films go, this is really not much to write home about. It feels like a watered down version of one of the director’s films, with the impressive set piece here or their (specifically the assassination in the rain and the plane crash finale), but other than that pretty standard stuff. Not amongst the filmmakers finest, but serviceable I guess, with one or two standout scenes and not a lot else.
this film has not aged well. stage-like over-acting, too much explanation, tacky film-studio backdrops. what might have been interesting special effects then comes across rather amateurish today. hitchcock was probably never revered for subtle plots (mcguffin galore), but this propaganda-story is outright ludicrous.