While it made sense in career terms to move to Hollywood in early 1939, the fact that Hitchcock remained in still-neutral America while Britain was at war created some understandable resentment – even though filmmakers were officially encouraged to stay in America to put forward the British case. Hitchcock did precisely this with his second Hollywood film, Foreign Correspondent, a powerful reworking – scripted again by Charles Bennett, who had preceded him to Hollywood – of the 1930s thriller template, dramatising the commitment to the anti-Nazi cause of an initially ignorant American journalist.
In 1944, Hitchcock travelled to England to make two short films for the Ministry of Information, about the French Resistance. Though never, in the event, widely shown, Bon Voyage provides a fascinating footnote to the main narrative of his career.
These films are screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Two. A full retrospective of Hitchcock’s 52 surviving films is taking place at the IFI from December 2012 to March 2013.
A six-week Evening Course, Shadow of a Genius, will look at the work of directors influenced by Hitchcock and will take place from February 5th to March 12th.