When the War Felt Real.

Tonight I watched a favorite from a Political Science Propaganda in Film class I took in college, Foreign Correspondent (1940).

This movie plays like a regular Hitchcock innocent guy on the run film like Sabotage or North by Northwest with the twist that a war is coming. The movie is fun and games of the main character running around Europe trying to piece together the plot to start a new world war, running around windmills, funny car chases with old men who just want to cross the street, and a love story between the two main characters.

This movie has a scene where the main character gives a woman a note "how do you feel about large families?" as a pick up line as he stares at her with stars in his eyes as she speaks of a plan to spread peace in Europe. The movie finds a moment of reality interjecting into the fun story when the scope of the war cases a large and unexpected tragedy changes the tone of the film, breaking the surrealism of the story before.

It's the change in tone at the very end that I really enjoy about this movie. It's the first time in the movie wher ether special effects merge absolutely perfectly with the action of the actors. The film ends in an odd way with a blatant play at American viewers to want to get involved in protecting Europe against sinister forces with a rousing speech and the NATIONAL ANTHEM playing over the credits.

Letterboxd review.

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