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JOURNEY INTO FEAR

Director: NORMAN FOSTER

U.S.A. • 1943 • BLACK AND WHITE • DIGITAL VIDEO • 71 MIN


This is more of a journey into farce than fear. An American munitions engineer (Joseph Cotten) on a wartime business trip in Turkey is targeted by the Nazis. The first intimation of this occurs whilst he is participating in a magician’s disappearing act: he reappears, but the magician has been shot. Smuggled onto a boat by the Turkish Head of Police (Welles), who is the spitting image of Stalin, Cotten finds himself adrift amongst a bewildering array of nationals, one of whom is the murderous Nazi.

Because he was involved in the preparation of Ambersons and the ill-fated It’s All True, Welles entrusted the direction to an associate, Norman Foster, who later claimed he ‘often didn’t know what the hell it was all about.’ It is moodily photographed by the great Karl Struss, has an exciting shootout on a rain-swept balcony, and the occasional telling aphorism, like the socialist’s Johnsonian observation that ‘war is the last refuge of the capitalist’. What suspense there is resides in the remarkable presence of the silent, hooded, baby-faced killer, the only screen performance by Jack Moss, who was in reality Welles’ business manager.

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