Thriller / Mystery / Drama
1940 / 120 minutes
In 1939 rumors of war were constant, but real news, the real facts, were hard to uncover. When American journalist Johnny Jones is sent to report on Europe’s increasingly desperate peace efforts he discovers instead a spy ring using peace conferences as a cover for their activities.
This is Alfred Hitchcock’s take on the months before World War II, with much of the action taking place in the Netherlands, including in and around windmills.
There are no real cautions to offer: The film has no nudity, one kiss, and while an assassination is shown, it is over in less than a second. It does have some “love at first sight” nonsense, but even this it pulls off with charm:
Johnny Jones: I’m in love with you, and I want to marry you.
Carol Fisher: I’m in love with you, and I want to marry you.
Johnny Jones: Hmm… that cuts down our love scene quite a bit, doesn’t it?
Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, this is a good yarn that I would recommend to any classic film lover. But if you’ve not seen a black and white film before, the pacing on this one might be too slow for you.