1940 | 120 minutes | English
August 1939 is a month before Europe became engulfed in World War II. Mr.Powers, the editor of the New York Morning Globe is fed up with the inability of his celebrated reporters to get answers about what’s happening in Europe. What Mr.Powers needs is a good crime reporter. He needs to find out about the Nazis and the crimes they are hatching. He recruits Johnny Jones, just the right reporter for the job, and rechristens him Huntley Haverstock—a name befitting a newspaperman out to report the big news in Europe. Shortly after arriving in Holland, Huntley witnesses the assassination of Dutch diplomat Van Meer, meets peace activist Stephen Fisher, his like-minded daughter Carol Fisher, and British secret agent Scott ffolliott (that’s his last name). Huntley manages to dodge bullets and the pursuit of many spies and subversives. But World War II can’t be stopped. Now Huntley is broadcasting to a “sleepy” America about bombs dropping all over London. The destructive blitz has begun.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 95%
- Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Picture; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Albert Bassermann); Best Cinematography (Rudolph Mate); Best Art Direction (Alexander Golitzen); Best Special Effects (Paul Eagler & Thomas T. Moulton)
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Unbroken tracking shots, carefully modulated sound effects, all combine to produce a gripping display of practical filmmaking and thrills.
A breathless yarn with the most serious of intents, it remains a film that should be included on the master of suspense’s top table. Hitchcock’s humor and brilliance are naturally in evidence.
Director Alfred Hitchcock has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion, and illusion of momentous consequences as the liveliest imagination could conceive. No one but Hitchcock would dare to whip up a picture like this and for those who can take their sensationalism without batting a skeptical eye, it should be a high-geared entertainment.
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