Foreign Correspondent [1940]

For inexplicable reasons, Foreign Correspondent never achieved the fame of The 39 Steps or North by Northwest, but it is certainly good enough to join the ranks of these better-known Hitchcock thrillers. Set just before the beginning of World War II, the film focuses on murder, international intrigue, and an innocent Joel McCrea caught between spies and counterspies. Highlights include an assassination on a rainy day with the killer escaping into a sea of umbrellas, a group of spies who signal their Dutch contacts by turning windmills against the wind, and an extraordinary climax aboard a plane that crashes into the ocean. In McCrea's final speech, you can hear the British filmmaker uniting American patriotism with the anti-Nazi cause. --Raphael Shargel

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