|Day and McCrea fight communism in Hitchcock's propaganda thriller.|
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Walter Wanger
Written by Charles Bennett and Joan Harrison
Starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Bassermann and Edmund Gwenn
Plot Summary: A newly-appointed American foreign correspondent (McCrea) uncovers a treacherous plot in London during World War II.
Significance: Though one of Hitchcock's most forgotten films, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (tied for #894 in the critics poll, as it only received one vote). It was overshadowed in 1940 by Hitchcock's other film Rebecca, which won the Best Picture Oscar, but it was actually nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, respectively.
Thoughts: I'm not sure what to write about this film. It's a decent thriller, purely of its time and appropriately steeped in propaganda. While it must've been more compelling upon its original release (before the U.S. entered World War II), it feels a little dated and too calculated now. Granted, the film has some interesting thrills, but it also plays as a potboiler, which doesn't work very well in this case. The film is a bit too long, though it remains engaging throughout the majority of its two-hour running time. Also, the performances are serviceable for the most part, with Joel McCrea and George Sanders being the standouts. While it remains a good thriller, Hitchcock's film doesn't rank with his best work, but hardcore fans shouldn't miss it.