What a smart film! I think it's one of Hitchcock's best! Kinda messed in writing but the direction is flawless! the ensemble cast was superb and Herbert Marshal gave an Oscar worthy performance, and Edmund gwenn even with his short appearance, also gave a strong convincing vilenous act! that airplane crash scene was very great and quite modern for its time! 9/10
It's not even in my top ten of his works that I've seen (then again I'm currently in the middle of marathoning every single film of his - that isn't lost that is), but it's still pretty great. It's another in a long line of Hitchcock's wrongfully accused themes, but as spiderwort stated, it has a strong message about war and politics. One of the few times where his MacGuffin had a deeper meaning beyond just a plot device.
But yes, Herbert Marshall is great, but I agree on Edmund Gwenn who made quite an impression with very limited screen-time. And the special effects and cinematography for 1940 were astounding. Particularly love the hypnosis scene (photo below). Certainly a film full of some of Hitchcock's greatest set-pieces. Probably ought to re-watch it down the road.
Interesting you say that, because it's one that I've found myself prone to watch often. And I think the reason is precisely because the McGuffin, as it were, has a stronger moral compass than just driving a suspenseful plot. I feel similarly about Notorious, which I actually think is one of Hitchcock's finest efforts. The McGuffin in that is merely a ploy to reveal human frailty and need - something not often found in his films.
I very much agree with you there, and I feel the same exact way about Notorious. It's one of a plethora of reasons why it's in my top five Hitchcock films. Maybe one day Foreign Correspondent will grow on me like that.
Another reason I think Notorious is one of my favorites is because of the one genre Hitchcock gets discussed at being expert in far too little - romance. Yes, he's rightfully the Master of Suspense, and to a lesser extent horror, but many of his films - especially the "man on the run" films like Foreign - have this subplot of romance that so naturally becomes a forefront of the story all the way to the end and holds a lot of bearing on its character's actions that you hardly even realize it's happening. Notorious is an obvious example of how well he directs romance, but I also think it's the best example. The MacGuffin ties in to it all nicely, too, as you say because it deals with frailty and need - something very much evident in the relationship between Grant and Bergman as well (and Bergman and Rains while we're at it).
Yeah, I could talk about it for days. There's a reason he's my favorite director.