Tag Archives: Foreign Correspondent

Mr & Mrs Smith

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Harry E. Edington
Written by Norman Krasna
Starring Carole Lombard
Robert Montgomery
Gene Raymond
Music by Edward Ward
Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr.
Editing by William Hamilton
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date January 31, 1941 (US)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

To those who thought that this would be a review of the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie films from a few years ago…sorry. This is the Alfred Hitchcock screwball comedy from the 1940s starring Carole Lombard. All I want to say about the Pitt/Jolie film at this stage is that it really dumbfounds me how Jolie can be nominated so often as being the most beautiful woman in the world when so clearly she is not. She looks like John Voight in drag, which ain’t a very sexy thought. She’s gross. It makes me wonder who decides these things anyway? Is it the flamboyant gossip columnists who so often promote this myth or have women come to the conclusion that because Pitt is so hot that therefore Jolie is hot too? It’s just astounding and I’ve wasted to much space talking about this as it is.

Of course there is a reason I have spent so much space talking about crap, because this film is not much to write about at all. I know that a lot of Hitchcock’s films are humourous, like Psycho, but Mr & Mrs Smith is the only comedy that he ever made and it’s awful. It’s almost impossible to believe that the person who had just directed Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent and had not too long ago made The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes could also make something this horrid.

The film is only an hour and a half long but it drags on forever. The dialogue is not witty but stupid and Carole Lombard is annoying. Apparently she was close friends with Hitchcock and wanted to make a film with him, and so is the person who roped him into making this mess. I think it shows that Hitchcock’s heart was really not into this film at all. The movie is extremely boring.


Foreign Correspondent

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Walter Wanger
Written by Memoir: Vincent Sheean
Screenplay: Charles Bennett & Joan Harrison
Dialogue: Robert Benchley & James Hilton
Uncredited: Harold Clurman, Ben Hecht,
John Howard Lawson, John Lee Mahin,
Richard Maibaum &Budd Schulberg
Starring: Joel McCrea
Laraine Day
Herbert Marshall
George Sanders
Albert Basserman
Robert Benchley
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Rudolph Maté
Editing by Dorothy Spencer
Distributed by United Artists
Release date 16 August 1940 (US)
11 October (UK)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Foreign Correspondent is another of those lesser known Hitchcock films. It was released in 1940 and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, but it has since been overshadowed by Hitch’s other film from 1940, Rebecca.

This is a brilliant spy thriller set in Europe just prior to the start of WWII. There is lots of rollicking action and intrigue and a few of Hitchcock’s set pieces that are excellent examples of film making. The scene where Van Meer is shot in the face is brilliant, as is the scenes involving the windmills and the plane crash at the films finale. However the most disarming thing about Foreign Correspondent are the scenes in which Edmund Gwenn, who in years to come would play Santa Claus in Miracle On 34th Street, playing a hired killer trying to murder Joel McCrea’s heroic Huntley Haverstock. It’s a great action movie, well worth watching.