Best Direction Ever
I don't know if I have ever heard the phrase "epic thriller" before,
but this comes to mind. Although there are longer Hitchcocks, this has
the highest thrills to length ratio aside from North by Northwest.
Although this movie is relatively unknown, the windmill scene is a
fairly well known bit. No small wonder, as it has moments that are
iconic of Hitchcock's suspense, and shifting lighting patterns that add
an ominous effect. A much used technique, as repetitive motions or
sounds in film punctuate the scene with a sense that something is
watching, or nature is playing a part. There are many other great
scenes, but I will spare those who haven't seen it of losing part of
the incredible suspense.
However, with a thriller this excellent, there must be more than
thrills and direction to complete the film. For one matter, there is
acting. Although the leading roles require more than is always present,
you never feel like there is any bad acting. To bring acting of
absolute perfection into play, there is Albert Bassermann, as Van Meer.
As he changes topic in mid sentence, rambling with a scratchy voice,
coughing, and retching. Although he learned his lines phonetically, he
somehow knows exactly when to change tone, or when to put a gleam of
defiance into his eyes. As another matter, there is cinematography and
lighting that corresponds perfectly with the suspense. The shots will
contrast each other, but without being too obvious, and the shot
patterns of certain scenes are very similar to North by Northwest.
Finally, it has a compelling story backed by a fine screenplay, with
dramatic lines that still avoid being clunky. This is the rare treasure
of a film that is enjoyable, and also great..
Joel McCrea having fun with windmills
I never expected to see windmills in a Hitchcock film. In this film,
there is a wonderful ride with Joel McCrea in a windmill. I liked
Foreign Correspondent first time I watched it. But now, I love the
film. I thought Joel McCrea was brilliant. Joel McCrea wanted to work
with Hitchcock again after Foreign Correspondent. He was one of
Hitchcock's choices for leading role in Saboteur (1942). But McCrea was
Its great to see George Sanders playing a different role. He played
Scott "ffolliott." Laraine Day and Herbert Marshall were great too. My
request is watch a Hitchcock film at least twice. There are some
touching scenes in the film. There is a scene Joel McCrea (Johnny
Jones) asks Van Meer about possibilities of a war right after they get
out of taxi. Van Meer replies "My boy, I feel very old and sad. And
helpless." I found that scene very touching. Herbert Marshall plays a
likable villain. There is another touching scene. When Herbert Marshall
(Fisher) comes into the room, he sees Krug's men forcing Poor Old Van
Meer to tell "Clause 27" by using Music with High Sound and Very Bright
Lights. And we see "Tears in Herbert Marshall's eyes." We also see the
painful reaction of George Sanders (Scott ffolliott) and the lady, when
Krug's men forces Van Meer to tell "Clause 27." I felt like I was
watching "A Horrible War" in front of my eyes.
Plane Crash Scene is brilliant. I don't know how Hitchcock directed
this Plane Crash Scene. But it was brilliant. I thought Final Scene
with Joel McCrea and Laraine Day was touching. I am sure Hitchcock fans
will like this film. My request is watch this Hitchcock film twice.
There are symbolisms in this Hitchcock film too. I collected these
informations from many Hitchcock fans. So the credits go to them. We
see Joel McCrea losing 3 hats in this film. Laraine Day (Carol) asks
Joel McCrea in the Hotel Europe "Don't you think you been talking
through your hat?" In the top of Cathedral, a boy loses his hat. This
happens when Edmund Gwenn (Roley) raises the boy to see the view from
the cathedral. There are more symbolisms. But it will be a very long
Great Performances, Great Screenplay, and Brilliant Direction from
Master of Suspense. I rate the film 10 out of 10..