In my head Foreign Correspondent is up there with those British films I love. And it has a lot of that British film signalling that is the reason it’s like that in my head:
- It opens with a model shot - although a long, long way shy of Young and Innocent model quality.
- It has a charming leading couple in Joel McCrae and Laraine Day - not quite Donat/Carroll levels of charm but still enough.
- It has some stunning set pieces.
- It has some genuinely funny dialogue
Add to this:
- It has a villian engendering wonderfully ambiguous feelings.
- It has George Sanders being a good guy!
But, in reality, it still falls quite a long way shy of the best of British.
All of the above doesn’t seem to hold together quite so well and watching it last night it seemed to be missing something in reality that my head seemed to be expecting. Maybe it’s the way that our leading man gets rather usurped by George Sanders when the confrontation occurs. Maybe it’s the way the pace drops off between those great set pieces. Or maybe it’s just that with Young and Innocent, The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, Hitch had set the bar too high!
Hitchcock Zone: Foreign Correspondent (1940)